Friday, May 4, 2012

Z Fish Report (5/3/12)

Actually this fish report has turned out to be a conservation report...read on.

The blue water has moved in considerably and is now about the 20 mile mark, with a very decent 82 degree temperature. Fortunately the fishing in the blue water still sucks, as the annual Sailfish Tournament started today (Friday).

This is a kill tournament, of over 32 years running. The tournament is a dinosaur in this age and time with only the other (Lazero Cardenes) kill tournament up about 40 miles from here being the only ones I know of in the world which kills every billfish brought to the boat. The Lazaro kill tournament feeds off the popularity if the Zihuatanejo tournament.
A sailfish in deteriorated condition from
 being in a long line for several days

After 14 years of living here and promoting catch and release, along with Paul Phillip’s 100% tag and release tournaments, whose original tournament rules are still used by the IGFA today, the only concession we can get from the local Cooperativa for a release tournament is a 30 kilo minimum for weigh in.

And, what do the people who pay almost a thousand dollars for the tournament fees do? They kill the smaller fish, fillet them, and take them home. They aren’t going to win anything, so why not have some fresh fish in the fridge?

They actually think they are entitled to the fish because they paid the entry fee and sport fishing license. I remember a few years back when over 800 to a thousand sailfish were killed during this 3 day span. Hopefully, the slow blue water fishing holds up.

How bad can it get? A lot worse than you can imagine! Two weeks ago Cheva, captain of the panga Dos Hermanos II, and I went up to Manzanillo towing a friend’s 36 foot boat trailer.
The porpoise was not hooked. It just had the long line wrapped
around its nose. It would have starved however if Don, Mary and
Cheva had not come along when they did.

What Cheva and I discovered in Manzanillo was a sport fisherman’s worst nightmare. I personally saw 30 long lines – rigged and ready to go. And, the local captains told us there were as many as 200 long lines in pangas fishing in the area. The sport fishing captains we talked to only got a “per hour rate”, which only amounted to a couple of hours around the bay for a few black skipjacks and sierras.
Two of 5 turtles who owe their lives to Don, mary, and Cheva
And another

When Cheva fished with Don and Mary Grantges on Wednesday, they had a very rude awakening as to a long line’s effectiveness of being an indiscriminate killing machine.
The small shark was hooked, and did die

Don and Mary, with a condo here in Ixtapa, are regulars to fish with Cheva on the panga Dos Hermanos II. It got real ugly, but with a very good ending. They came across a floating killing machine of a long line which had been cut by a large oil tanker or another large ship. They released 5 sea turtles and a porpoise.

See the attached photos and either weep, at what is really going out there, or rejoice as a few where saved.

Another note is when Mary, who is a Mexican National, went to complain about the situation with the Port Captain, they told her it was out of their jurisdiction, plus they were leaving for lunch at that hour and could not help her. Mary was really pissed… in both English and Spanish.
Ed kunze (IGFA Representative)