Small-scale fisheries of lagoon estuarine complexes (LECs) in Northwest Mexico


Blog, Coastal & Marine, Fisheries

Over 2 million people receive economic benefits from fisheries from Lagoon Estuarine Complexes (LECs) in Northwest Mexico. These generate over $20 million USD per year, with most revenues coming from the shrimp fishery. Many other species are also targeted at LECs, however their fisheries and the coastal habitats they depend on, continue to be undervalued. Government policies have encouraged an increase in fishing effort. This has promoted unsustainable fishing practices and has magnified the “race to fish” by fishers.

Map showing the study sites; black dots represent fisheries offices.
Map showing the study sites; black dots represent fisheries offices.

Despite limitations that are known to exist for small-scale fisheries data in developing countries, this study provides a broad overview of diverse and novel information related to: taxonomy, fishing seasonality, and latitudinal patters of species groups caught in LECs, as well the revenues generated by the most profitable fisheries.

This research suggests how changes in fisheries management of LECs, such as the introduction of “bottom-up actions” where resource users can participate, could help establish more sustainable fishing regulations. The later could help in the preservation of fisheries ecosystem services provided by coastal lagoons and mangroves. These services are critical for the future welfare of coastal people that obtain economic and food sources from LECs fisheries in Northwest Mexico.

Fishermen heading out early in the morning for a day's work. Photo: O. Aburto-Oropeza
Fishermen heading out early in the morning for a day’s work. Photo: O. Aburto-Oropeza

For the complete publication follow this link:



Nadia T. Rubio-Cisneros

Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados (CINVESTAV), Unidad Merida


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Nadia obtained her doctoral degree in Marine Biology at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. For the past 15 years, Nadia has been involved in numerous marine ecology research programs in the Gulf of California, the Mexican Caribbean, off the California Coast, and the South Pacific. She has worked on a wide scope of projects related to: the study of coastal ecosystem services at different temporal and spatial scales, the analysis of social-ecological systems involved in small-scale fisheries of Northwest Mexico and has studied diverse aspects of the ecology of whales, sea turtles, and coral reefs. Currently she is doing research at Isla Holbox related to ecosystem services provided by mangroves and other near shore environments.

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