Views from the industry state that this is the worst crisis in 40 years. More than 180 shipowners from Tamaulipas are on the verge of bankruptcy because apart from lower capture volumes they are facing the increase in fuel prices, a situation that makes it unprofitable to develop the fishing activity.
At present, out of the 180 boats making up the fleet, only 47 are performing the activity. This situation has caused the loss of around 500 jobs and endangers the existence of about 11,000 jobs in the coming months.
"This year has been the worst in the past 40 years for the fisheries sector due to many factors. One of them is the fact that consumption has drastically dropped and another one because it did not rain and production has been quite scarce, falling up to 30 per cent," regretted Nicanor Fernández Cabrera, shipowner and consultant of the National Chamber of the Fishing Industry.
Fernández Cabrera assured that out of all the times ships have been out at sea, 80 per cent resulted in significant loss, "as the vessels return with few fish so currently fishing is unaffordable," reported Milenio.
He also acknowledged the hardest months for the fleet are to come because the ban begins in May and runs until 15 August.
This period should be used by shipowners for the maintenance of their vessels, with an investment of MXN 170,000 to 200,000 (about USD 13,000 to 15,000) but given the crisis it is feared it will be impossible.
Therefore, fishing employers requested further support from the national government through fuel subsidies and other technical measures, as well as the opening of the bars of Laguna Madre.
Moreover, the insecurity of the area led to the departure of shipowner entrepreneurs from Tampico and the resulting increase in unemployment among shrimp trimming firms and fishermen engaged in the sector.
Meanwhile, the fleet from Campeche started a strike and moored their 80 boats in the harbour.
The president of the National Chamber of Fishing and Aquaculture Industries of Campeche, Jorge Francisco Márquez Narváez explained that the strike is due to the fact that "fishing is not profitable as, on average, 60 kilograms of shrimp were caught per night", as it was published in Diario Provincia.
In addition, he stated that the resources from the Energy Programme have not been released yet and although there is still a month to continue the catch in Sonda de Campeche, the ban was started earlier "because fishing is unprofitable."
Márquez Narváez added that if fuel subsidies fail to be generated, the activity will become unaffordable.