MEXICO CITY – At least 12 boats belonging to Pescados Industrializados (PINSA) have been operating since last week in the Islas del Pacifico biosphere reserve off the coast of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, local fishermen told EFE.
Marine biologist Jose Angel Sanchez, a member of a sports fishing cooperative in Isla Cedros, showed an EFE reporter aerial photographs and videos in which PINSA boats are seen operating inside the reserve and close to shore, affecting the sea bed.
The fishermen notified reserve director Mario Guerrero, who told EFE that PINSA, whose tuna brands include Atun Dolores and Mazatun, was taking advantage of “a transitory article in the executive order that allowed its permits to cross the reserve’s boundaries to remain current, something that is not very ethical but legal.”
The executive order signed by President Enrique Peña Nieto on Dec. 7, 2016, establishing the reserve allowed those holding permits for the area included in the reserve to continue commercial fishing operations until their expiration.
“PINSA is a company that brands itself as being socially responsible. On their website, it says that they belong to the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission and the Pacific Alliance for Sustainable Tuna, but they are using bad practices within a recently created reserve just because the law allows it,” Guerrero said.
EFE contacted the company, but a PINSA spokesman said he could not comment because the matter was under investigation.