Critical Mass Top 50, 2011

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Alejandro Rivas

Tendiendo Redes 1

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Alejandro Rivas

“Tendiendo Redes” Traditional fishing used to be one of the most important activities in Baja California Sur, Mexico, thanks to the richness of the sea that surrounds this peninsula. Unfortunately, the worldwide collapse of the marine life populations is reaching every corner. The voracity of the fishing industry is affecting considerably the local traditional fishermen, who season after season obtain less product despite of investing more money and making a bigger effort at their job. The relationship between these fishermen and the sea is one of profound respect, based on their knowledge and experience. The forces of nature are powerful and can be devastating and that will always be in the mind of those who dare to work far from the coastline. Because of these dangers and in order to find more product, they are forced to migrate during certain seasons to areas where they can find better fishing opportunities and shelter from the elements (specially hurricanes). When the fishermen come back home from the sea, the women can finally stop worrying. The family stays together for a few days, before they have to go out to the sea again. The quality of life of the fishermen families is reflected in their simplicity and the pride for their job when they call themselves fishermen. Unfortunately, the fishing communities along the pensinsula’s coast are experiencing a rapid lost of cultural identity. Some of the factors causing this are the over exploitation of the marine resources by big fishing fleets, the relocation of their fishing camps due to the development of tourist and residential complexes, some conservation programs that don’t consider the needs of these communities because they are developed mainly by biologists, and finally the increasing job offer in the tourist sector. With all these factors making their life as fishermen more and more difficult, soon they will prefer to find a job in any town or city than to throw their nets out to an empty sea.