Conservation of Sailfish in Guatemala
It is with great excitement we announce by Government Decree a National Commission has been officially organized for the PROTECTION OF THE SAILFISH IN GUATEMALA within our Pacific coastline. A 16-month long ordeal that included many hours spent in meetings between government officials, the tourism board and the local angling community has resulted in this Commission finally coming to life!
As many of you know, Guatemala holds one of the largest populations of sailfish on the planet. Sportfishing offers Guatemala the opportunity for economic development by generating income through tourism derived both from national and international anglers enjoying our fishery. Protecting the sailfish guarantees long term sustainability for the sport and for the responsible enjoyment of many anglers to come.
In 2002, Guatemala made headlines by being the first country to enact into law the protection of the sailfish (Decree 80-2002 of the General Law of Fishing and Agriculture, Guatemala). This week, Guatemala is moving one giant step forward by creating this National Commission that will guarantee the correct enforcement of the existing laws protecting the sailfish.
With the highest level of government involved and the official support given by Guatemala's President, Mr. Otto Perez Molina, success for this initiative is certainly guaranteed!
Directly involved are representatives from each:
- Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
- Department of Defense
- Department of Natural Resources
- Department of the Interior
- Department of Social Services
- Tourism Board - INGUAT
WHY was the commission created?
-Counteract the problem of illegal fishing
-Increase scientific investigation
-Raise awareness on the importance of Billfish
-Develop programs to promote the protection of the species
-Coordinate local and international authorities to work together in order to protect the species
-Promote the practice of sustainable fishing in alignment with tourism
SCOPE of the commission
-Be thecoordinating and mediating entity for the actions and the work plan developed for the protection of the species.
-Be in charge of private financing, locally and internationally.
-Be the mediator between the international and local academics.
-Be the developer of public and private projects related with the marine activities