The jellyfish fishery in Mexico
JUANA LOPEZ MARTINEZ
FRANCISCO JAVIER ALVAREZ TELLO
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"Jellyfish has been captured in Asia for 1700 years, and it has been considered a delicacy. Since the 70s important jellyfish fisheries have developed in several parts of the world, with catches increasing exponentially, reaching 500,000 tons per year in the mid-nineties. In Mexico, only the cannonball jellyfish Stomolo- phus meleagris is captured commercially. Most of the capture of this jellyfish species is ob- tained within the Gulf of California, specifically in the state of Sonora. The total reported capture in 2010 was 16,581 metric t and 14,220 in 2011. With these capture volumes jellyfish was ranked as the third most important fishing resource in the state of Sonora. The fishing season in Sonora is from April to May; a total of 4 or 5 weeks, and the catch per unit effort is around 3 tons by trip. Currently, there are nine jellyfish marketing companies, with about 20 processing plants distributed along the coast of Sonora, primarily in Guaymas, Kino Bay, and Puerto Peñasco. Although the process is simple, the large amounts of jellyfish required and the need to optimize production costs make jellyfish pro- cessing an intense activity that employs hun- dreds of people during the fishing season, be- coming an alternative employment for the peo- ple who depend on the fishing industry."
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