14 Dec Punta Allen, Mexico
The Punta Allen community is located at the tip of a narrow peninsula, it covers approximately 1 km2 and is estimated to be less than 1 metre above sea level, with a population of around 600 persons. The major economic activities are the spiny lobster fishery and eco-tourism. The Vigía Chico Cooperative has the concession for this fishery, which operates in Ascensión Bay. The Bay covers an area of 850 km2 and includes a variety of habitats such as mangroves, corals, sponges, seagrass and macro-algae. For fishing and management purposes, the Bay has been divided up by fishers into 150 individual areas, locally known as “campos”. In each “campo”, fishers deploy artificial shelters, from which spiny lobsters are harvested using a small hand held net and free diving. There are 41 “campo” owners, and each owner has exclusive fishing rights within their area. These rights are supported by internal working rules of the Cooperative and are respected amongst the fishers. The fishers have many incentives for this co-management approach, including high lobster catches, high prices, and the cohesive group structure of the Cooperative. This co-management approach has helped the fishery to develop in a sustainable manner and in 2012, it received Marine Stewardship Council Certification. However, a robust understanding of the contexts under which fishers make decisions regarding harvest strategies as well as their perceptions on resource abundance and management effectiveness, particularly in the wake of climate change, is necessary for ensuring continued sustainability of the fishery.
See below for the Spanish language abstract for this community story, “Punta Aallen, México: El fortalecimiento de la capacidad para la conservación de los ecosistemas en las comunidades costeras: La langosta espinosa de Pesca de Punta Allen, Quintana Roo, México.”