Punta Abreojos: sustainable fishing cooperatives

Tania Escobar Series, Voces del Mar

A fishing community sets the pace for the proper management of lobster and abalone, but faces new challenges to climate change.

Founded in the 1940s by two families of fishermen, the small community of Punta Abreojos in Baja California Sur depends on the sea to secure their livelihood.

From the earliest settlements to the international certification of their fisheries, the conservation of resources and sustainable management of the production chain has been the staple of economic activities for generations of fishermen.

As traders, mainly of lobster and abalone, the Punta Abreojos cooperative has enforced a rigorous compliance of fishing closures for these species during breeding seasons, restricted the use of fishing gear that harm the ecosystem, and established important controls for commercial sizes.

Working together with scientists and environmental authorities, the cooperative is constantly monitoring water quality and fisheries resources, establishing quotas and developing alternative programs to reduce the pressure on the ecosystem. However, the effects of climate change, its impact on the waters of the Pacific, and the red tides that hit the area ever more frequently, are imminent threats to the stability of the production level of this fishing community.