APRIL 1, 2006: On Saturday the first, the pleasure yacht “Triton” arrived at Roca Partida. That morning an interceptor from Socorro arrived and checked permits to be in the reserve. On Sunday the Navy boat returned asking when the Triton would be leaving. The Navy personnel were told Monday. The Triton left on Monday the 3rd and shortly thereafter about 2:00 am on Tuesday morning the 4th the 1200 ton tuna boat “Maria Veronica” from Manzanillo was seen via radar steaming towards Roca Partida.
Tuesday morning APRIL 4, 2006 The large tuna seiner Maria Veronica had it’s helicopter in the air at dawn and by 9:00 am MDT it had already made a set 1.5 miles from Roca Partida. After bringing in its nets, the seiner stayed about 5-7 miles from the Island for the rest of the day while the dive boat Ambar anchored near the rock
Wednesday morning APRIL 5, 2006, the Maria Veronica was joined by its sister ship the Maria Fernanda about 1 mile from the rock. The helicopters from both boats worked the area for the next two hours and found tuna near where the dive boaty “Ambar” was anchored. Once they started to set, but it was very close to the anchored Ambar and about 1:00 PM in deteriorating sea conditions both boats left on a course for Benedicto without setting their nets again.
It has been almost exactly 4 years since the Biosphere was officially put off limit to all extraction, yet the daring and connected continue to fish there. Last week it was the Don Saturnino caught with 200 plus sharks aboard and this week two large 1200 ton seiners working in the center of the biosphere freely using their two helicopters to find tuna. It is for these reasons that around the inner 3 islands there has been only a slight improvement in wahoo size and quantity (20 to 30 lb average), no noticeable improvement in the size or quantity of tuna and there has been a definite decrease in number of sharks. As long as commercial boats have access to the reserve and are not heavily fined and confiscated the reserve has no chance of success. It will take constant monitoring by other user groups and stiff penalties to stop the very destructive abuses caused by commercial fishing. As always, we think that people will pay big money to fish where the world’s largest yellowfin tuna reside. There is a trophy fishery with 100s of dollars paid per each fish anda Mexican observer on every boat, that could be developed and sustained. This is the only way to stop commercial fishing abuses.