We are in the middle of closed Grouper Spearfishing Season here in Mexico, in Spanish called “veda”. I am writing this because, without any exception, everybody in our spearfishing team has a stomach ache over what happened earlier this week.
But first things first. Why is there a season you can not fish for Grouper? Grouper in our area spawns each year around March at predictable times and in predictable places. So the Mexican Government decided to have a fixed annual closed Grouper season. That is only one month a year and in 2015 it lasts until March 15th.
We think that is great! Grouper can be left to reproduce. In other words, nice for Grouper itself. Nice for snorkelers and scuba divers. And nice for fishermen; so that we can have fish for the future.
It takes a long time for Grouper to reach maturity. Much longer than for example fish like Mahi Mahi and Triggerfish. This means that if a large number of mature Grouper adults are fished one year, it will take a long time before the Grouper population can return to normal. The size of the population can also be negatively affected if the fish are caught before they have had the chance to spawn. These characteristics combined with the relatively strong demand for Grouper fillet suggest that some measures simply had to be taken.
So earlier this week the team was spearfishing in Cozumel. We briefed our guests that Grouper is not on the menu this day. We often joke that it is like Grouper knows we can’t spearfish for them as there is literally Grouper in every spot we do at the moment. When we reached a spot not that far from shore we ran into a Grouper, category 65/70 pounds. OMG… Such a big fish in such shallow water…. Our guests and us watched the huge Grouper, took some footage and did not hunt for it. Of course not.
Two days later. Someone on Cozumel showed us a picture on his phone of a Grouper he spearfished that same day. Spearfished at the reef I mentioned above. “Can you believe that big fish in that reef, yeahhhh”. Looking at the size of it, it is 100% sure he caught the Grouper we…. left alone… and only shot… on video.
This person’s defense was:
A. I live here. AND
B. Spearfishing one Grouper, come on, that does not make a difference. To be continued….
TIP: When you are here in Mexico, living or on vacation, just don’t eat Grouper at this moment. Do not buy it. Do not order it in a restaurant. You might be told “No worries, it is Grouper from before the off season. We froze it”. Hey… don’t fall for it, don’t take the chance. Fresh Grouper tastes so much better at the end of March, then frozen today. Something to look forward too!
We at SpearfishingToday urge you to respect the Grouper spawning Season. Please. Please. Please do not destroy the resources of the next generation Grouper. Respect the Grouper Spearfishing Season here in Mexico. Only a couple of days to go…
Grouper Spearfishing Season Mexico was last modified: April 14th, 2015 by Leo | Founder & Guide
Leo is the founder of Spearfishing Today and also the official representative of the Mexican Spearfishing Association for the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. He is FII certified, speaks English and Spanish and hunts comfortable up to 100ft. Leo is guiding spearfishing trips only on request in all Spearfishing Today locations in Mexico. He only hunts with a polespear and has a very inspiring opinion about freediving and spearfishing. Nickname: Chanoc. Most memorable catch: 27.99 kilo Cubera Snapper with polespear.
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