Paralelo 28 – Be a Conservation Hero

Paralelo 28 – Be a Conservation Hero

Striving to Improve Surveillance and Enforcement in Marine Protected Areas in NW Mexico

Paralelo 28 is now entering its third year, an alliance among four nonprofit organizations in Northwest Mexico to strengthen surveillance and enforcement of fishing and environmental regulations of six marine protected areas.

Paralelo 28 members
Hugo Quintero (Eco-Alianza), Israel Popoca (PNBL), Sergio Gonzalez (ProNatura), Hector Trinidad (ROC) -Eco-Alianza Staff Photos

Sergio Gonzalez, regional coordinator for ProNatura Noroeste, pitched an overview of the Paralelo 28 alliance on December 17 at the Loreto Bay Community Center.

ProNatura is the one of the largest Mexican environmental and conservation NGO with more than 500 employees throughout Mexico working from six regional offices.

Gonzalez reported on successful efforts to raise funds for surveillance and enforcement, as well as highlights of some of the local efforts.

Searching for sponsorships; Eco-Alianza, ProNatura, Niparajá, and RED de Observadores Ciudadanos de La Paz, the four organizations that form the Paralelo 28 alliance, are asking the support of businesses and individuals to help the Bay of Loreto National Park.

Stuffed animals, clear lucite collection boxes and conservation bracelets are some of means to do so.

Locally, Gonzalez emphasized the need for funding with a slide showing cuts to CONANP’s Bay of Loreto National Park (PNBL) operating budget over the last five years, which in 2018 is roughly a third what it was previously. Just $150,000 pesos was available in 2018 to protect the resources of this 510,000-acre park, and its five islands.

Sergio Gonzalez
Sergio Gonzalez, ProNatura Regional Coordinator -Eco-Alianza Staff Photos

Hugo Quintero, Eco-Alianza’s Executive President, explained some of the ways that ProNatura and Eco-Alianza have worked together over the last two years, as an adjunct to the official Paralelo 28 activities.

With support coming from individuals, grants secured by ProNatura, and a US Fish and Wildlife Service grant secured by Eco-Alianza; The bay of Loreto National Park was supplied with a new outboard engine and a new patrol boat, in addition to gasoline and coordinated training for the six federal agencies involved in surveillance and enforcement in marine protected areas.

Additionally, the Park received a high-definition camera that is now mounted and operational on the lighthouse of Loreto, communications equipment to contact park rangers in the field, funds for additional park rangers, and tablets and software to record results of patrol trips.

These efforts already have resulted in more than 20 coordinated enforcement actions. Depending on fundraising results, future plans include a radar system, additional high-definition cameras, and more funding for park rangers.

Israel Popoca, the PNBL Director, also was on hand during the presentation and confirmed that all of these efforts have been effective and highly appreciated. Despite the reduced Park budget, he said, thanks to these efforts surveillance and enforcement of illegal fishing and other inappropriate activities within the Park have improved significantly.

For more information, or to support Paralelo 28, click here.