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CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Gary Graham – ROAD TREKKER



ROAD TREKKER /
WON News Column by Gary Graham

Gary Graham's published credits would fill many pages, two books on saltwater fly fishing, and hundreds of feature articles.

His  current leadership activities in the sportfishing community include: Avalon Tuna Club, member since the 1980s, San Diego Marlin Club, International Game Fish Association (IGFA), Baja California representative; Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF), certified fly casting instructor; Outdoor Writers of California, president; Outdoor Writers of America.

Gary Graham can be reached at: roadtrekker1@gmail.com

Weather, Great White and Whales
The year 2019 is barely a month old and my “Roadtrekker” note file is already brimming with unusual snippets of Baja news from the Border to the Tip.

It appears the current “World News” knows no borders. No, I’m not about to launch into a discussion about walls, fences, etc. — let’s stick with the weather.


Over the past several weeks, the weather gurus, have talked about a phenomenon in the meteorological world, the “Polar Vortex,” (frigid air that blows in from the poles of the earth — in this case the north pole). It has delivered sub-zero freezing temperatures in the Eastern United States, along with freezing temperatures and snow on the northern states along the West Coast, with torrential rains and near-freezing temperatures on the southernmost areas of California, creating a double-whammy that has affected both coasts of the United States.


Clearly the weather recognizes no walls, fences, or borders; this is confirmed by anglers in northern Baja who are beginning their reports with mentions of the cold weather all the way down to Magdalena Bay, where the towns are full of bundled-up “whale watchers.”


Baja Road Update:


nationalastronomical415
THE NATIONAL ASTRONOMICAL  Observatory of the UNAM in San Pedro Martir was closed due to the ice that formed following the rain.”... David Kier


shortlyafterthat
SHORTLY AFTER THAT post, the “Polar Vortex” effect set in.


Although Mex One road reports have been favorable, a Vagabundos Del Mar Mexico Boat and Travel Club member, Randy Brown, posted: “MX 1 is in the best shape that it has been for the past three or four years. There are still some potholes and road construction, so you need to drive with caution, but most of the potholes and sinkholes have been repaired and the driving lines are now painted on the new section of road near the Catavina area. However, it is very important not to drive at night because it’s impossible to see the potholes in the dark,” he concluded.


Shortly after that post, the “Polar Vortex” effect set in. La Rumorosa is a mountain pass at an elevation of 4,042 feet above sea level that links Tecate and Mexicali; it was closed recently due to ice...


“The National Astronomical Observatory of the UNAM in San Pedro Martir was closed due to the ice that formed following the rain.”... David Kier



A Great White named Deep Blue


Since that initial discovery, she has gained quite a following; the 50-year-old beast is estimated to be 20-feet long and is now considered the largest recorded shark in the world.


A fascinating story that surfaced recently was of a huge great white shark that reportedly had been seen, tagged and filmed at Guadalupe Island off the coast of Baja in 2015.


Since that spotting, apparently the monster shark Deep Blue decided to head west across the Eastern Pacific where she was spotted in a rare sighting off the coast of Oahu, 2,500 hundred miles from Guadalupe Island, swimming right up to some divers who filmed the encounter.


Deep Blue can be seen gliding through the water with her massive fins, flashing her razor-sharp teeth for the camera.


sincethtinitial
SINCE THAT INITIAL discovery, she has gained quite a following; the 50-year-old beast is estimated to be 20-feet long and is now considered the largest recorded shark in the world.


She is so famous that she has her own “Twitter Page” @Deep_Blue_Shark with nearly 20.000 followers.


Ocean Ramsey, a marine biologist and swimsuit model, observed, “The huge shark was one of the most gentle of sharks I have ever encountered over the past decade in my research.”


Here is the link to the video. https://youtu.be/vuE_ubJiCQs


Grays, Humpbacks and Blue Whales


And finally, this season’s whale watching has already been a crowd pleaser as the gray whales settle into the lagoons and bay, dotting the Pacific side of Baja and the humpbacks frolic at Baja’s tip, while the blue whales begin filtering in at Loreto.


Hopefully, the weather will soon warm back up and the adventure-minded visitors will once again begin pouring into Baja eager to enjoy all that Baja has to offer during 2019.


* * *

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website wonews.com. Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.


Mag Bay’s Bounty
The Sea of Cortez never ceases to amaze me. The first time I fished it was in 1956 in a 16-foot Wizard fiberglass trailer boat. My uncle, his friends and I trailered the boat from Sacramento, Calif., to an unforgettable little village, a very primitive Guayas, Mexico, where I caught my first sailfish.

My first long-range trip was made a decade later, on an equally memorable trip aboard Captain Bruce Barnes’ 85-foot boat, the “Qualifier.” We traveled to Uncle Sam’s Bank off the coast of Baja where I caught my first black seabass.


althoughitsnotALTHOUGH IT’S NOT a given that the billfish will go off every year, it often does.


From the small boat to the large yacht, those two trips were the beginning of my lifetime of many unforgettable boating adventures on the waters surrounding Baja and Mexico — traveling to Magdalena Bay, into the esteros (estuaries), Cabo San Lucas, up into the Sea of Cortez, La Paz, Mazatlán, Manzanillo, Zihuantanejo and the Revillagigedo Islands.


Traveling on a variety of boats, including my own 23-foot Blackman Center Console, trailered from 1977 until it was sold in the mid-1980s, plus as a guest on many different sports fishers ranging in size from 48-foot to 100-foot. Some of the names I’m certain many of you will remember: Ocean Pacific, Legend, High Life, Pastime, C-Bandit, Zopilote, War Eagle, SeaMark and Kingsway to name a few; there may be a few more that I’m not remembering.


I am always thrilled to be part of the ever-changing Sea, regardless of the means I travel or the species it coughs up. I’m always astonished at the fodder the Sea provides in the countless stories that become part of my memories and the fabric of my life. Like the time shortly after Yvonne and I were married in 1979 when the two of us brought Steve Cushman’s 48-foot Hardhead from Cabo to San Diego. Our deckhands were a young man in his late teens, Craig Miller, and Hector Gonzalo, an experienced deckhand from Cabo. Traveling at 8 knots, we left Cabo one gray morning in January 1980, keeping lures out just in case.


Not really expecting a bite, we were north of Cabo Lazaro at Magdalena Bay around midday when the clicker howled. Yvonne came out of the salon and grabbed the rod. It was a striper that had hooked itself near the Thetis Bank. Craig reeled in the second lure, which also had a fish on! Suddenly while they fought the fish, billfish began appearing as far as we could see. Throughout the afternoon we continued slowly heading north, traveling only short distances between bites on the two lures being trolled. By the time we finally drove out of all the feeding billfish, our release total was in the high double-digits.


When we arrived at C-Dock on Harbor Island several days later, a crowd of friends and onlookers welcomed us home noting our multiple release flags fluttering from our riggers.


Shadows of skepticism reigned as we told our tale of billfish as far as the eye could see. In those days traffic up and down the coast was light, except for the long-range boats that were more interested in yellowfin tuna, wahoo, dorado and yellowtail; they had little interest in billfish.


By the late 1990s, the Magdalena billfish pile up had been discovered. However, with few facilities, the fleet was limited to only a few trailer boats and sportfishers that had ample fuel and water makers, allowing them to stay for a length of time.


Although it’s not a given that the billfish will go off every year, it often does. 2018 was one of those years that was extraordinary for the small fleet that was there and there were many daily double-digit totals, as well as trip totals in the hundreds!


And all the while that area was going off, the Finger Bank, 50 miles above Cabo San Lucas, was experiencing very similar conditions beginning in early November. That was when Pisces Sportfishing and Gray Fishtag Research deployed satellite tags aboard “Strictly Business,” which were donated by Victor Johansen.


That billfish bite has remained consistent for nearly three months. David Brackmann recently observed that there were lots of sardine there in the beginning, which has now rolled over to mackerel. He also commented on the different size classes of striped marlin this season. Early on, there were many small fish and fewer larger ones on the Bank. Then there were a few days when it was almost all large 120 to 180 pounders and no smaller ones. It was as though they were moving in migratory batches of a majority-size class.


With many 15- to 30-pound fish at the Lighthouse taken by trolling ballyhoo but no larger ones there over 100 pounds; this year is the largest number of juveniles they have seen. There must have been a good spawn offshore and the currents moved the smaller ones in.


According to recent reports, in the past several weeks, the billfish schools have been sliding farther down the coast to the area outside the Lighthouse at Cabo Falso.


Once again, going back to the 1980s when we fished billfish every year in Southern California, we would try to locate the line the fish were traveling, starting up inside Catalina Island. Usually we would find a current break where they were. We would mark where we started each morning and where we left off each afternoon, noting the line that the migrating fish traveled each day and its direction from top to bottom; this allowed us to follow the school down the coast over several days, all the way below the border.


With today’s sophisticated SST (sea surface temperature) charts, it is easier to determine the course that the river-like current break travels down the coast at varying distances from the shore.


Ultimately, that river-like current, regardless of distance from the coast, often sweeps past the tip of Baja all the way to Mexico’s mainland.


Putting all of this in perspective was a conversation overheard on the VHF radio among a contingency of boats that had traveled all the way from Los Suenos to Magdalena Bay: “Wow! This is the new Los Suenos!”


Some of the regulars who have been coming to Mag for decades rolled their eyes, but I was not among them. I silently watched as 35 years later, Mag Bay showed off her bounty once again!


* * *

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website wonews.com. Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.


SNOOKZILLA?
“Measured out to 48 inches. You wanna have the right gear for the job when you hook into that fish of a lifetime!” posted Wesley Brough , CaboSurfCaster on his Facebook page several weeks ago.

Sometimes snipe, sometimes snook! But this was a nice snook caught on a Stephen Jansen’s custom Killer Mullet from shore.


And it was followed by still another post above by Stephen Jansen, owner ofJansen’s Inshore Tackle in Cabo San Lucas and San Jose on his Facebook page.


Snook stirring! Once again, from the beach — this time on the Pacific side near Cabo San Lucas, in the toughest conditions with monster surf pounding the steep, sandy shore. They were flinging lures nearly as far as a football field is long, with spinning rods 13-feet long, loaded with braid.


Snook (robalo in Spanish) — it’s nearly impossible to predict when or where this incredible fish will appear throughout Mexico’s Baja region, making them tough to target.


With random sightings and with many more incidental than intended catches, Baja snook are a mystery wrapped in ambiguity. It is seldom that reports surface about catches, but even when they do, it is usually too late… the bite is over.


During the past several months, in addition to the Cabo beaches reports, there have been promising reports from Captain Juan Cook of San Quintin, who also had quite a month with some of his clients. Catching his personal best snook weighing 45 pounds, he added a dozen or so more for various clients while fishing in November out of Lopez Mateos at Magdalena Bay.


Ray Cannon, the original WON Baja columnist and the author of the “Sea of Cortez,” initially published in 1966, was the first time that snook and Baja were connected in the chapter “The Snook Shook the Town,” where he describes catching a 48-pound monster snook in Mulege’s Santa Rosalia River. In 1958, a Chubasco (violent storm) wiped them out, and turned Ray’s fascinating tale into rumors, controversy and skepticism.


In 2001, Gene Kira, another Baja legend and former WON columnist, interviewed Lou Federico, Cannon’s fishing partner. In Kira’s book, “The Unforgettable Sea of Cortez,” Federico confirmed Cannon’s yarn and even produced photographs. He affirmed that 40-pound snook were common and at least one catch was nearly twice that size. Unable to land them on rod and reel, locals resorted to harpooning the larger ones using canoes and carbide miner’s lamps at night.


Since the 1960s, the primary habitats ideal for Mexican snook have evolved, but few areas produce a predictable snook bite at a specific time of the year. When I searched for the most likely area to find snook, I discovered the healthy fishery in Magdalena Bay that Gene Kira and Neal Kelly wrote about in “Baja Catch.”


During my first visit to Magdalena Bay at Puerto San Carlos in 1997, I was snook challenged, having never caught one. Enrique Soto, a local panguero and president of the fishing cooperative at the time, introduced me to Mario, a local diver, and the two of them gave me a crash course in Snook 101, which culminated with me catching my first snook.


Over the years, I continued to make countless trips to Mag Bay in search of additional snook spots, and my fishing buddies would pass on tidbits of snook information.


Capt. Gene Grimes, known for his striped marlin and swordfish prowess, shared my snook fascination. He had exciting stories of taking the 90-foot Legend into the shallow, mangrove-lined channels to Devil’s Curve, where the boat’s owner, Ken Battram, caught huge snook, one of which became the centerpiece on the dining table in the Legend’s salon.


Grimes graciously shared his knowledge acquired during numerous visits to the area, explaining that the water temperatures peaked in the fall months, which produced the best snook action. Sizes ranged from a few pounds to respectable 40-plus pounders. He added that the most productive method was fishing with live sardine or shrimp. Live bait drifting in the deeper channels up against the mangroves provided the best shot for catching snook.


Then, through trial and error, I figured out tackle, techniques, tides and the best times to fish.


NOTE: Snook have razor-sharp edges on their gill plates, so you must use a 40-pound fluorocarbon leader to prevent the line from being cut on the initial run when they flare their gill plates and as much drag as possible when the fish is hooked.


Over the years, interest in snook has grown as more catches have been reported or seen on social media, confirming that they are found in a variety of habitats in addition to the mangroves.


Sandy beaches throughout Baja Sur from Loreto to the tip and up the Pacific side all the way to Vizcaino Peninsula, La Paz Bay, Puerto Los Cabos and Cabo San Lucas are all producing a few snook.


What is astonishing about recent reports, however, is not only the volume in general, it’s the number of large snook over 40 pounds reported this year, the largest I can recall.


I won’t be surprised if there are a few more SNOOKZILLAs taken before the month is out; and hopefully, one of them will be mine!


measuredouttoMEASURED OUT TO 48 INCHES — You wanna’ have the right gear for the job when you hook into that fish of a lifetime!” posted Wesley Brough , CaboSurfCaster on his Facebook page several weeks ago.


sometimessnipeSOMETIMES SNIPE, sometimes snook! But this was a nice snook caught on a Stephen Jansen’s custom Killer Mullet from shore.


* * *

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website wonews.com. Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.


I’ve got a craving
After a great New Year’s Eve celebration with friends in Borrego Springs, Calif., we awoke to a light dusting of snow on the mountains on New Year’s Day 2019 as we drove up the Montezuma Valley Road, about 18 miles towards Ranchita; there was even enough to have left spots of black ice and snow covering the roads and landscape.

As I drove through the snowy mountains, I reflected on another New Year’s Day 34 years ago, when Yvonne and I were driving down the mountain from a skiing trip to Deer Valley to catch our flight back to Southern California.


At the bottom of the hill in a blustery snowstorm, Yvonne asked me why I was so quiet? “You didn’t notice,” I replied, “I haven’t had a cigarette since last night.”


about18miles
ABOUT 18 MILES towards Ranchita, there was even enough to have left spots of black ice and snow covering the roads and landscape.


Climbing out of the car, I headed into a 7/11 in search of something to stem the craving and came out with a tin of Altoids — “curiously strong mints” — along with Stim-u-dent balsa wood toothpicks. Both were a godsend that changed my life forever and with their help, I never smoked another cigarette. A very strong deterrent was probably the fact that my dad, a heavy smoker, had died a few months before of lung cancer following the deaths of all his four brothers of the same disease.


My thoughts then turned to the cold weather which fueled my craving to return to Baja. I found myself remembering some of my favorite Baja places in the mid-section of Baja that because they are off the beaten track, I have missed seeing over the past few years.


That section still offers glimpses of the “Old Baja.” The Vizcaino Peninsula Biosphere from Turtle Bay on the West Coast all the way down to San Ignacio Lagoon is still one of my favorite areas.


Offering several villages to explore, Bahia Tortuga, (Turtle Bay), Bahía Asunción, La Bocana, and Abreojos, all dot the Biosphere coastline overlooking the Pacific Ocean and all are accessible by paved roads.


The friendly village of Bahía Asunción is located on point with a long sandy beach extending in both directions and is fantastic for swimming, surfing, beach sports, excellent panga fishing, and off-the-rocks surf casting. It is approximately 60 miles from Vizcaino on Mex 1 — paved road — on the west coast of the mid-Baja Peninsula in the heart of the Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve (the largest reserve in all Latin America).


There are around 3,000 residents who depend on the two fishing cooperatives that harvest abalone, lobster, clam, giant sea snail, shark and many other species.


The town offers accommodations, a campground, a gas station, a hospital, a clinic, grocery stores with fresh produce, meat, dry goods and ice, an internet cafe, hardware stores, pharmacies, tire shops, mechanics, welders, restaurants, tackle shop and cell service. It is also a popular, safe anchorage for visiting cruising yachts and residents are eager to try out their English and welcome you to their village.


La Bufadora Inn is a popular spot operated by Canadian Shari Bondy, a teacher and whale researcher who has lived in the area more than several decades with her husband Juan Arce, a local abalone fisherman/musician who built La Bufadora Inn. Juan charters his super panga to sport fishermen and he also offers Island nature tours.


Currently, the yellowtail are full speed and should continue through February.


Asunción Island, which is in sight of their Inn, is home to a vast list of sea life that you can see and often hear, as well as watch the pangas coming and going throughout the day.


This pet-friendly Inn offers rooms with private patios and unique interiors that take full advantage of the spectacular views. In addition, they offer Wi-Fi, kitchenettes, gardens, kayaks (for guests use only) and food services on request.


currenltytheyellowtailCURRENTLY, THE YELLOWTAIL are full speed and should continue through February. If you are looking for a touch of the authentic Baja feel, this is a good place to find it.


For a side trip, while driving down Mex 1 to La Bufadora, six miles north up the deserted beach is San Roque, a small fish camp complete with an old mission to explore.


http://www.bahiaasuncion.com/php/


Another 20 miles below Vizcaino is a turnoff to Punta Abreojos, another gateway to the Pacific Coast. Driving approximately 50 miles off Mex 1, you’ll find there are several options for fishing offshore, as well as several esteros to explore.


Run by the local fishing co-op, which is located ten miles north of Abreojos at La Bocana, it has eight beachfront cabins with private bathrooms and satellite TV and is located right on the beach, making it easy to take advantage of afternoon walks or to watch the sun as it sinks into the Pacific.


The offshore sportfishing trips are great for grouper, yellowtail, wahoo and yellowfin tuna; inshore, the calico bass fishing is outstanding, while in the estero, it’s all release for grouper, pargo, halibut and snook.


La Bocana offers a full bar with premium drinks, a full-service restaurant with cooks who will prepare your freshly-caught fish for dinner — which often includes fresh-caught lobster, abalone and oysters when in season.


In addition to the sportfishing, hiking, bird watching, kayaking, guided mountain bike tours are available. There is also a campground.


Orchid Martinez-Guevara is the official U.S. representative for La Bocana Adventures. She offers turn-key packages to La Bocana from San Diego. You can reach her at (619) 483-7315 or email her at orchid@bajafishingconvoys.com .


There is also the Baja Bocana Hotelito, a B&B that sits right on the beach and is operated by my friends Blanca Portella and Les Heil, who can be contacted at (605) 107-2400 or (619) 942-3677, or www.labocanahotel.com.


A few miles south of Punta Abreojos is another estero option, Campo Rene, (Estero Coyote). Perched on the edge of the estuary and the Pacific Ocean, Campo Rene is a must visit even if you are not interested in staying there.


Unfortunately, there is little info online currently. The following is a link to an earlier Road Trekker story.


http://roadtrekker.blogspot.com/2008/09/


If you are planning a Baja road trip, don’t get caught up in an impulse to drive straight through to your destination. Allow yourself time to explore a few of the remote areas that are still uncluttered with tourist “stuff” along the way.


* * *

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website wonews.com. Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.



Baja Reef Conservation Catches On in 2018
In 1972, successful U.S. businessman Mike McGettigan bought the 52-foot Cheoy Lee sailboat Vagabundo in San Carlos, Baja California Sur. He traveled, dived and fished in the Sea of Cortez for a year. And, he watched as the reefs and reef fisheries declined at an alarming rate. Fishermen using compressed air ravaged them in the 1970s and ’80s, spurring him to found SeaWatch, committed to exposing the destruction and often illegal fishing practices.

In 2007, Sea Watch’s attorney Maria Ugarte Luiselli, petitioned and received a change in the federal law prohibiting fish extraction by using compressed air, adding that it is also “illegal to use hookah equipment for spear fishing and it is illegal to place nets on rocky reefs, or anywhere there is a coral reef as well.”


inresponseto
IN RESPONSE TO the tourist closure at Los Islotes Island (a popular destination for snorkelers and divers within Espiritu Santo's protected area), ROC collaborated with CONANP (the Mexican Park Service) to set-up a temporary base camp.


Regardless, in June 2009, illegal netting and nighttime spearfishing using hookah equipment was still rampant.


This decimation was halted temporarily in 2009-2010 as a result of Red de Observatorio Ciudadano (“ROC”), the first citizen-driven vigilance group formed explicitly to prevent illegal fishing in the Bay of La Paz.


During its first year, ROC prevented the killing of more than 500 tons of reef fish in the Bay of La Paz and the number of illegal boats was reduced from 29 to 4.


However, in 2011, unlawful fishermen persuaded CONAPESCA to delay and stop the prosecution of illegal fishing, and not patrol the area.


Recognizing the success of ROC’s efforts, new formal agreements were negotiated with CONANP (the Mexican National Park Service), CONAPESCA (fisheries) and PROFEPA (the legal arm of the Mexican National Park Service) that included placing government authorities on ROC patrol boats.


This was brought about with the support of the CONAPESCA inspectors who worked diligently with the ROC Vigilance Team to prevent illegal fishing in the Bay of La Paz and at Archipelago Espiritu Santo.


ROC's citizen-driven ROC vigilance, in collaboration with State and Federal authorities, produced outstanding results.


In 2017, ROC patrol boats worked with CONAPESCA (the federal fisheries authority) leading to the confiscation of 13 illegal pistolero boats (carrying divers spearing parrot fish at night while using illegal hookah equipment).


In 2018, ROC acquired a patrol boat and a new 175 HP motor donated by McGettigan making it possible to chase down illegal fishermen and increasing ROC's surveillance in the Bay of La Paz. The new ROC patrol boat is larger, allowing it to carry ROC's captain and staff, along with the federal fisheries’ authorities and navy personnel.


Since April, 2018, not one boat has been caught illegally fishing at Espiritu Santo National Park , and fish populations have dramatically increased, especially the heavily targeted parrotfish.


The ROC patrol boats are operated by ex-pistoleros (illegal fishermen) who are used to running boats at night without lights, providing around-the-clock vigilence, and know where the illegal boats fish. The volunteers and inspectors traveled more than 14,000 miles and spent in excess of 3,000 hours on the Bay of La Paz; since April 2018, no illegal fishing has been discovered. By comparison, in 2017, 13 illegal boats were confiscated.


In response to the tourist closure at Los Islotes Island (a popular destination for snorkelers and divers within Espiritu Santo's protected area), ROC collaborated with CONANP (the Mexican Park Service) to set up a temporary base camp on the island.


For 75 days, staff from ROC and CONANP patrolled the protected area night and day, contacting an average of 55 boats a day and more than 26,000 tourists, sharing information about the new regulations and the reasons for the closure.


In November, 2018, Espiritu Santo National Park was named one of the best managed protected areas in the world by the ICUN – International Union for Conservation of Nature – the first ever in Mexico and only the second in Latin America.


Moneys contributed to SeaWatch funded the two programs instrumental in achieving both world-wide recognition for environmental protection in Espiritu Santo National Park, La Paz, and fisheries recovery that has occurred there the last two years.


In 2018, ROC, a citizen-driven vigilance program initiated by and partially funded by SeaWatch and run by Lic. Maria Ugarte, the past director of SeaWatch, also received two awards in November: recognition by the Mexican government as one of the most important environmental organizations for nature conservation in marine protected areas and as a model non-profit conservation organization by the Mexican Senate.


Recently, Sea Watch started a collaboration with the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA), which this year requested the Mexican government include ten species of parrotfish in the national registry of protected species, under Official Mexican Law 059, which is currently being updated. All of the species included in this first draft live in the Caribbean.


In 2019, they will work with AIDA and the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California Sur to meet all the requirements needed by the government to include the species of parrotfish that live in the waters of Archipelago Espíritu Santo and the Gulf of California under this law. The requirements include scientific data, and public engagement.


The university will gather scientific data of the parrotfish species in the sea of Cortez; AIDA will focus their efforts in the legal strategy; and the Espiritu Santo es parte de ti team will keep working to engage the community in this issue through our campaign.


McGettigan wrote, “Thank you for your support in the past. We hope our successes in 2018 will merit your continued support in 2019. Your donations to SeaWatch go directly to support the Espiritu Santo es parte de ti campaign and the successful vigilance efforts of Red de Observadores Ciudadanos (ROC. -Mike McGettigan, Sea Watch https://www.seawatch.org/


* * *

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website wonews.com. Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.


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