Come on In, the Water’s Fine
Ecologists and sport-fishing fans have succeeded in blocking a decree by the Mexican government that would have increased commercial shark fishing and threatened other fish stocks. Mexico currently requires shark vessels to stay 50 miles offshore; the new rule would have allowed them to come within a half-mile of the coast, dragging mile-wide nets and six-mile-long lines that ensnare marlin, sailfish, dorado, and other game fish populations. The outpouring of public protest about the proposal was an embarrassment to President Vicente Fox, who suspended the shark fishing decree in mid-September and asked for public hearings on it. On Friday, those opposed to the rule change got their way — but the Mexican shark fishing industry still remains largely unregulated.