Mexico has closed its waters to bluefin tuna fishing for the remainder of 2014. The announcement came Monday, July 14, coincidentally during the week of meetings by the Inter-American Commission on Tropical Tuna in Lima, Peru.
Mexico had announced a 5,000 ton bluefin quota on June 20 and apparently that quota was reached this week, according to the announcement by SAGARPA, the branch of the Mexican government that regulates agriculture, rural development and fishing. It is unclear if the same closure applies to commercial bluefin fishing.
This closure takes place in the midst of one of the better recreational bluefin seasons on record, according to reports in the San Diego Union Tribune. Sport boats run regularly into Mexican waters from ports in Southern California in pursuit of the bluefins.
An upcoming feature in the September issue of Salt Water Sportsman details this productive recreational fishery, and while the tactics described have become standard for the San Diego fleet visiting Mexico’s waters, anglers are notified to put bluefin trip plans on hold until the Mexican government reopens the fishery.