Guatemala Champions Conservation for Sailfish


Right to left: The Vice Minister of agriculture ING. Sebastian Marcucci, Director of the Tourism Board of Guatemala Mr. Pedro Duchez and the Vice Minister of Defense Vice Almirante Tyron Hidalgo. Accompanying the commissioners is Mr. Niels Ericksen from Pacific Fins.

Through Governmental Agreement 183-2014 the Republic of Guatemala has created the National Commission for the Protection of Sailfish whose mission is “to promote the socioeconomic development of the coastal region in the Pacific Coast of Guatemala through sport fishing tourism for sailfish in a sustainable manner.” This inter-institutional commission comprised of the Departments of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Development and the Instituto Guatemalteco de Turismo (INGUAT- Board of Tourism), was also created to help ensure the fulfillment of the existing legal regulations under Decree 114-97 and Decree 80-2002, which prohibit the commercial fishing and distribution of sailfish.

One of the main objectives of the Commission is to actively partake in the development of working plans and programs that will help ensure the protection of the species. Additionally, the Commission will be able to seek private, local and international funding in order to help develop public and private projects. The Commission has also invited the National Sport Fishing Association of Guatemala to contribute their knowledge of sportfishing regulations and controls to further their efforts.

 

Guatemalan waters hold one of the largest populations of sailfish on the planet and sportfishing brings opportunity for economic growth in the country. Protecting the sailfish guarantees long term sustainability for the sport and for the responsible enjoyment of anglers for many years to come. This is an important step for the conservation of the species in Guatemala and a great example for other nations to follow. Says Jorge Sinibaldi, IGFA Representative and President of the Asociación de Pesca Deportiva, "This commission is so important for the sport fishing community because it will help coordinate all efforts on billfish conservation.  It is also an example on what the sport fishing community working together can achieve towards conservation and responsible fishing.”