Regional Artisanal Fishing and Aquaculture Festival, Sonora 2022
Regional Artisanal Fishing and Aquaculture Festival, Sonora 2022
The Artisanal Fishing and Aquaculture Festival Sonora 2022 (FRPAAS 2022), aimed to focus attention and recognize the work of fishers and aquaculturists in Sonora and the northern Gulf of California for their contribution to the supply of healthy food, as engines of local economies, and as mechanisms to reduce poverty and sustainably conserve/use the resources of the sea.
The event brought together more than 250 participants, 93 panelists, 15 fishing-aquaculture cooperatives, 17 non-profit organizations, 4 academic institutions, 19 businesses, 3 First Nations, and 43 different activities: 8 plenary sessions, 16 expert panels, 3 workshops, 4 work meetings, 1 business network, 4 gastronomy master classes, 1 Memorandum of Understanding (strategic alliance) between CEDO-COMEPESCA and 1 Sister Cities agreement between Somerton, AZ and Puerto Peñasco, Sonora.
The Festival was one of the most important fishing-related events of the year. Cooperative permit holders, buyers, marketers, and distributors highlighted the products of the region and generated commercial synergies.
All participants were aligned with the UN sustainable development goals of no poverty, zero hunger, quality education, gender equality, youth, sustainable cities, responsible consumption and production, and life under water. Our shared planet needs sustainable practices to continue to provide food for all while protecting and restoring ecosystems so that we can continue to enjoy the fruits of the sea and the land for many generations.
There are many challenges ahead—climate change, marine debris, and pollution—but we will stick together to create partnerships to obtain lasting and tangible results.
The goals reached at the Festival include:
- Celebrating the men and women of the sea, recognizing their activity to provide healthy and affordable food and contribute to community well-being and the protection and sustainable use of our ecosystems.
- Presenting cutting-edge information on issues related to fisheries and aquaculture sustainability, inter-institutional collaborations, education, gastronomy, and youth.
- Empowering stakeholders.
- Strengthening the interrelation between science and politics, and
- Creating partnerships and alliances to generate commitments and work agreements that contribute to improving social, economic, and environmental conditions in the entire artisanal fishing and aquaculture value chain in the region.
The event brought together the three levels of government: at the federal level, the Foreign Ministry and the Mexican consulates in Yuma, Phoenix and Tucson. At the state level, the Governments of Sonora and Baja California, and at the municipal level coastal municipalities of both states, universities, civil society organizations and cooperatives, and fishing and aquaculture permit holders.
The solid binational collaboration work between Mexico and the United States facilitated the participation of the US Consulate in Nogales, Sonora, and local authorities from the cities of Somerton and Tucson, Arizona. Another success was the renewal of the Sister Cities agreement between Somerton and Puerto Peñasco to promote economic, tourism, educational, and infrastructure development in the border region.
The event was attended by Mexican Senators Nancy Guadalupe Sánchez Arredondo and Arturo Bours Griffith; Martha Delgado Peralta, Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Alma Rosa García from the Baja California Secretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture, who joined the Festival for all three days and facilitated the participation of her team, producers, and the Cucapá Nation.
The Government of Sonora participated with Célida López, Secretary of Tourism, Natalia Blancas Gallangos, general director of Fisheries and Aquaculture of Sagarhpa Sonora, Raúl Sánchez Almeida, Undersecretary of Fisheries of Sagarhpa Sonora, Ramón A. Nenninger, head of the Aquaculture Institute of the State of Sonora (IAES), and Oscar Eduardo Castro, Sonora Congressman for District II.
The event framed the strategic alliance between COMEPESCA and CEDO by addressing the “Fishing with a Future” and “Culinary Conservation” strategies and closed by recognizing the “Power of the Consumer” for the traceability and visibility of artisanal fisheries that implement best practices as mechanisms for sustainability.
Lines of Action
Sustainability, Welfare and Education were the lines of action where participants shared and analyzed studies, programs, strategies, successful experiences, and sustainable practices related to artisanal fishing and aquaculture in Mexico. Multilateral agreements to achieve the commitments of a sustainable ocean economy at the High-Level panel were also shared.
Some conclusions and agreements reached:
- Send relevant information to the Foreign Ministry on the effects of climate change on the region’s fisheries to integrate it into the reports of the High-Level panel.
- Implement some of the recommendations of the multilateral agreements on the commitments for a sustainable ocean economy in the region.
- Promote the results of the proposal for the Puerto Peñasco – Puerto Lobos Corridor spatial planning.
- Regularize fisheries with renewals and new requests, prioritizing the communities of the Caborca, Sonora municipality.
- Promote fishing refuge areas.
- Promote an artificial reef at Desemboque de Caborca for the benefit of low-impact fishing and tourism.
- Seek financing programs for the fishing sector for provisioning and to generate added value to fishery and aquaculture products.
- Support Fishing Improvement Projects (FIPs) as a tool for access to new markets. (Currently active for the crab and white clam fisheries).
- Address the demands of men and women of the sea from the Senate.
- Promote joint work agendas at the state and regional level for artisanal fishing and aquaculture.
- Increase the number of species with an improvement project (FIP) or certification.
- Improve small-scale fishing practices.
- Modify the current habits of fisherfolk towards sustainable practices through a tangible stimulus.
- Adopt responsible purchasing policies from intermediaries and marketers of large-scale fishery products.
- Implement standardized business practices with cooperatives focused on transparency and traceability.
- Train fisherfolk to earn more while fishing less through the added value of their product.
- Develop strategies with a social, financial and environmental capital impact for cooperatives.
- Consolidate the dialogue between companies with business cooperative models with added value and producers.
- Implement actions in the fisheries to increase the added value of the products.
- Position quality fishery products from Mexico.
- Recognize the role of First Nations and our biocultural links.
- Involve women in the sector to consolidate new sustainable fishing projects.
- Merge the skills of women and men to enrich the fishing and aquaculture profession.
- Include women’s vision of the future and commitment to the environment in the fishing sector.
- Take advantage of the opportunities in the mega Baja California-Sonora-Arizona region in terms of economic, tourism, and infrastructure development.
- Promote the national action plan to combat lost or discarded and abandoned fishing gear.
- Provide information and guidance to achieve healthier and more sustainable lifestyles.
- Engage and encourage consumers on social media to lead healthier and more sustainable lives.
- Celebrate collaborations or alliances between businesses, NGOs and/or the government to provide information to society on the importance of incorporating a healthier and more environmentally friendly diet.
- Report on the impact of business commitments on the environment and society.
- Promote continuing education spaces through communication and publicity campaigns for environmentally and socially responsible products.
- Generate content to promote responsible consumption of sustainable fisheries products.
- Promote the Fishing with a Future and Culinary Conservation Ambassadors program.
- Recognize consumer rights as a tool to demand quality products.
- Create human capital that contributes knowledge, experience, and technology to have more responsible fishing and aquaculture.
- Offer study programs focused on the new challenges faced by fishing and aquaculture including reducing fossil fuels, tackling climate change, and reducing overexploitation of fishing resources.
- Take into account the traditional knowledge of fisherfolk and aquaculturists to train new generations of fishers.
- Generate content for young people about the seafood they consume, indicating their origin, provenance, and type.
- Raise the awareness of young people through natural resource monitoring activities.
- Teach youth to fish responsibly.
- Promote the organization of young people who work at sea to act for the common good.
- Implement a holistic education to increase environmental awareness and implement local solutions.
- Create new subjects according to current environmental needs.
- Take advantage of the dynamism of youth to serve as a link between fisherfolk and researchers and other actors involved in sustainable fishing and aquaculture.
- Create Community Vigilance Committees similar to the experience of the State of Yucatan.
- Include the fishing sector at the table of state and national security councils.
- Strengthen participatory spaces such as the Fisheries Management Consultative Committees, based on representativeness and equity.
- Regulate the activities of the different Participation Committees so that the proposals scale from the local to the national level.
- Declare the Puerto Peñasco – Puerto Lobos Corridor (CPPPL) as a Special Management Unit.
- Implement four fishing management tools— fishing efforts regulations, rights-based management zones, catch quotas, and fishing refuge zones from the CPPPL.
- Legally analyze the legal status of cooperatives and review the Law that governs them.
- Generate spaces for linking between sectors, fisherfolk, NGOs, and government.
- Promote the organization of the fishing sector to consolidate more FIPs, certifications, etc.
- Work on planning, permits, defined fishing areas, surveillance, and safety for fisherfolk.
- Consolidate governance models for each community according to their own needs.
- Systematize the experiences expressed in the governance panel to disseminate them.
- Build a national climate change program focused on the fishing sector.
- Build a national risk plan for the fishing sector.
- Generate and invest in science to continue updating models and have the ability to change results.
- Have a gender community approach in all our actions, since women and youth are in a situation of higher vulnerability.
- Create or strengthen state and interstate fisheries and aquaculture councils.
- Review international treaties on export species in the face of their upcoming redistribution due to climate change.
International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022)
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared 2022 the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022), in recognition of the millions of small-scale fishers, aquaculturists, and fishery workers in the value chain who provide healthy food and nutrition to billions of people, while contributing to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2 “end hunger”. The UNGA designated the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) as the lead organization for the celebration of IYPAA 2022.
The FAO points out (2020) that there is no universal definition of “artisanal” or “small-scale” fishing or aquaculture. However, this term is used to describe fishing and aquaculture that use relatively small production units, with few inputs and production, low levels of technology or capital investment, and small boats, and excludes sport or recreational fishing.
This 2022 draws the world’s attention to the role of small-scale fisherfolk, aquaculturists, and fishery workers in the sector in food security and nutrition, the eradication of poverty, and the sustainable use of natural resources, thereby increasing world awareness and action to support them. The celebration is also an opportunity to improve dialogue between different participants and strengthen the association of small producers with each other, so that they gain visibility, are heard and included in the formulation of policies and decision-making that shape their daily lives, from the local community level to international forums.