Fishers' knowledge collected through a rapid appraisal process that involved semi-structured interviews in 17 fishing communities in the Northern Gulf of California, Mexico, was used to understand the spatial and temporal scales at which small-scale fisheries operate. This study identifies 43 main target species and group of species and the fishing gear preference(s) for the harvest of each. The reported spatial and temporal patterns associated with the target species were used to evaluate use of existing marine protected areas (MPAs), the distance traveled to reach fishing areas, and the timing and locations of fishing activities. MPAs were found to be important fishing areas for multiple communities with 79% of the total area within MPAs being actively utilized. Five communities stand out in their capacity to travel up to 200km to reach their fishing grounds. The results also show a clear a seasonal differentiation in species and areas targeted as well as fishing gear and methods used. A systematic incorporation of information related to spatial and temporal scales in fishing activities provides additional opportunities for the sustainable management of fisheries, both for the Mexican government and local interests. The incorporation of local knowledge helped building a source of information that can provide insights for regulatory agencies in the development of spatially explicit management measures in the Northern Gulf of California, Mexico.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law