In 2004 Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste
(CIBNOR) designed a planning exercise as a proposal to supplement the contents of the Plan for the Fishing and Aquaculture Sector of the National Plan for Development 2001-2006, and which intended to thoroughly identify the strategies that would allow to move toward ustainable development of the National Fishing Sector. This document was set forth at the disposal of the Senate of the Republic through the Commission of the Environment, Natural Resources, and Fishing for a better use within their policies to promote sustainable development in the exploitation of the natural resources in México. The document presented at that time had the intention of defining fishing regulation in México. However, the intention was to also go further by declaring as one of its main objectives to increase national production significantly, both by optimizing existing fisheries (value) and by developing new national fisheries (volume and value). This view was absent at that time from the fishing sector plans of the last administrations. As a result of the report presented and the communication maintained with the corresponding authorities from that time on, it was then that in 2008 the National Commission of Aquaculture and Fishing (CONAPESCA)
requested CIBNOR, through the National Conference of Governors, the development of the National Governing Plan for Fishing and Aquaculture which was for our researchers not only a challenge of great importance for the country, but also an opportunity to collaborate timely and efficiently in the sustainable development of our society.
The Project “National Governing Program Stage 1: Regional Diagnosis and Planning for Fisheries and Aquaculture in México”
was developed in the framework agreement between the State Government of Baja California Sur and CIBNOR, which from the first quarter of 2008 coordinated the efforts of a group with a wide array of specialists to carry it out.
The objective of this project was to provide CONAPESCA with a series of documents in which the current problems in fisheries and aquaculture were analyzed both at national and regional levels. Besides it recommended the main strategies and activities that would be important to consider in the framework of public politics directed to the sustainable development of this sector in all scopes: environmental, social, economic, technological, and institutional .
For the first working stage, a group of CIBNOR researchers and technicians with special fields in fisheries ecology and aquaculture was integrated and supplemented with professionals of other disciplines, such as economy, administration, and marketing, in order to integrate a first diagnosis that would pick up the thread of the available information at national level. In the diagnosis we could corroborate that a fisheries regulation plan at national level was urgent; we had not only fallen behind in adding value to the resources we currently fish out, but there were also potential resources that could be exploited, with the conviction that Mexican coasts, coastal lagoons, and inland body waters of our national geography should be a matter of pride for México in fisheries and aquaculture,
and not a matter of concern or conflicts due to the improper use or exploitation of our natural water resources. We developed a first proposal which was interpreted in the framework of international references, which allowed integrating the first version of the possible development of the Sector in its three axes of sustainable development: regulation, growth, and competitiveness.
This version was presented to around 300 important persons in national fisheries and aquaculture, including representatives of the private initiative and social sectors, and to representatives from the three government orders of all the Mexican states in five Regional Workshops organized for this purpose. The generosity in participation of all the attendees allowed to increase both number and scopes of the strategies and actions considered for the sustainable development of the Sector.
The analysis of the results obtained in the Regional Workshops started from the methodology of the Logical Framework adopted by the Federal Government, which allowed integrating a proposal of strategic axes with their corresponding purposes, components, and activities. To this effect, we had, besides the group of specialists already mentioned, the participation of knowledgeable persons in fisheries and in aquaculture from the different regions of the country. Finally, this proposal was discussed, analyzed, and improved in workshops with staff from the National Commission of Fishing and Aquaculture.
As a consequence of these works, we have a development proposal with an ambitious view but feasible at the medium and long term: a regulated fisheries and aquaculture sector that would duplicate its contribution to national food production with clear surplus and capable of such growth rates that would allow a significant contribution to generate employment