Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mexico's Big Shark Conservation Announcement - Politics or the Real Deal?

Last week we jumped into the shark conservation world of SINO's with a specific focus on Mexico and their inability to enforce conservation laws for sharks.

As we have been documenting for the past several years white sharks are frequently taken in Mexico's waters, leading us to questions a recent announcement out of Mexico that would protect all sharks and rays in Mexican waters starting in 2012.

It seems that we were not alone in this line of questioning and as it turns out the entire announcement of a vast shark sanctuary in Mexican waters may be premature or downright politics as usual in Mexico.

For an in depth update on Mexico's ongoing shark problems read Serge Dedinas blog post from the NGO Wildcoast, one of the the most credible sources for front line shark information in Mexico.

The Mexico Shark Fishing Moratorium Fiasco

So is the shark moratorium truth of fiction?

These types of policy “wars” in Mexico over proposals used to be carried out domestically in the state-run media. Different newspapers would publish policy proposals by competing factions in a government agency (the Mexican government under the PRI essentially bankrolled the press).
You would always know an article was a political message because it would appear without a byline with a very forceful and badly written statement about a very obscure policy. Another newspaper would carry the same type of article from a competing faction of technocrats calling for a different obscure policy.

Then the issue would vanish from the public spotlight.

What is unfortunate is that in the past, Mexico used to pass far-reaching conservation initiatives because it was worth the positive international media exposure it received–and then those plans would be implemented (to some degree).