The Mc-Fisher Restaurant, located on Calle José María Morelos y Pavón in downtown La Paz, has recently joined 13 other restaurants in a pledge not to serve parrotfish on their menus
Community initiative, Espiritu Santo es Parte de Ti, has been working tirelessly to help raise awareness about the urgent need for the La Paz community to consider not eating parrotfish, a keystone reef species locally known as “Perico”. As herbivorous grazers, parrotfish play a significant role in keeping the various types of natually occuring algae in balance with the reef ecosystem. Removal of too many of these fish in any given area has been shown to result in algae growing over the coral, starving it of life.
Whilst selling and consuming parrotfish is perfectly legal in Mexico, it is deemed impossible to extract them on a commercial scale without using illegal methods such as netting inshore reefs or using compressed air and spear guns or poles to extract the fish, the latter being an activity that often occurs at night while the parrotfish rest in rocky crevices.
By targeting popular restaurants that offer seafood, the team at Espiritu Santo es Parte de Ti has been successful by working with 14 La Paz establishments so far in a bid to aid the recovery of some of the reef areas around Espiritu Santo.
Mirsha Ruben Macklis Chavez, the owner of the Mc-Fisher Restaurant, joins this effort and gives his own thoughts in an interview produced by photographer, Leonardo Gonzalez, who works with the community group. You can follow the work of the team by connecting with their Facebook page here.
Please view the interview below. [Spanish audio with English subs].
El restaurante Mc-Fisher no vende #PezPericoEn sus tradicionales platillos sudcalifornianos, Mirsha Ruben Macklis Chavez procura que la variedad de los productos del mar mantengan un estándar de calidad y a su vez mantengan el equilibrio en La Paz y la Isla Espíritu Santo.#libredepezperico #nocomprespezperico
Posted by Espíritu Santo es parte de ti on Tuesday, June 13, 2017
How you can help
There are several ways that you can help us to secure a healthy future for the Espiritu Santo Archipelago.
Think about what you consume from the ocean
In particular, consider avoiding species of fishes that directly maintain the health of the reefs by grazing on algae while keeping it in natural balance with the ecosystem. These include parrotfish and surgeon fish.
Report any illegal or suspicious activities
Ecotourism captains and guides and general boaters are a great tool in the fight against illegal fishing practices. If you encounter any activities that you believe to be illegal or suspicious, try to obtain photographic and/or video evidence of the acts. Attempt to capture recognizible landmarks in the frame so there is no doubt as to where the activities were observed and also record the GPS coordinates. You can send the information to RED Observatorio Ciudadano or to us here at Sea Watch and we will ensure it goes through the proper channels.
Donate to our cause
By donating to Sea Watch, you can directly contribute to the great awareness work of Espiritu Santo es Parte de Ti or the highly effective vigilance efforts of RED Observatorio Ciudadano. You can donate by credit/debit card, Paypal or by sending a cheque to our registered mailing address. Visit our donate page for more details by clicking the donate button.