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Aerial Survey Finds Increase in Fishing Boats and Aquaculture

In May 2006, WWF staff flew over the Gulf of California during a 10-day exercise to count pangas (small fishing boats), fishing campsites and aquaculture ponds in order to assess current fishing efforts and compare results to 1998 data, as well as determine the extension of aquaculture activities in the region.

Results showed fewer fishing campsites than in 1998; however, the number of pangas has increased approximately 20 percent and there is an increase in the number of aquaculture ponds. This analysis will serve as a baseline for monitoring fishing activities and conservation needs in the gulf.

WWF staff flew just above the coastline surrounding the gulf, from Cabo San Lucas in Baja California Sur to San Blas in the state of Nayarit (1,240 miles) at an altitude of 985 to 1,300 feet. In November 2006, staff will conduct another flyover to collect data and corroborate the May results.