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A crime inside five miles
A sample that justifies to approve Tropical Pacific Sea Zone.

By Alberto Navarro and FACTORTIERRA.NET. Photos by Alberto NavarroPonlo en español.



LOS ORGANOS, Peru – A cebiche? Around noon, hundreds of tourists fill restaurants along beaches even in low season, like the moment when this story is published. Beneath the exstasy of sea, sand and Sun, they never may think where the fish they are enjoying could come from, especially if it looks like smaller than conventional.

It could be Quebrada Verde (pronounce “Kehbrada Verde”), an illegal pier which fishing is totally compounded by species those did not reproduce at all so they seem to be small, but the truth is they were not allowed to grow until their legal size, as it happens to sand-pearches (Diplectrum conceptione), soles ((Solea solea) and the tasty shrimp (Litopenaeus)

everything happens 100 meters from the shore, half-a-kilometer to the South from el Ñuro to Cabo Blanco (both in
Talara County), and everybody seems to knowthe sstage: just an obsolete undestructure of what was once a Oximplan’s desalinater plant, that worked until 1980s-ending.

In Quebrada Verde, everybody could practice pull-fishing inside five marine miles, what is illegal. However, law is a eradicated concept – there is no law for those men.


Little rafts are not used this time for selective fishing like La Tortuga (
Sechura?) or La Islilla (Paita), but they are part of the crime. Later, pink big bags are used to bring the illegal merchandise. The same little rafts serve to load fuel and make the exchange. Some ones almost collapse because of the excessive merchandise.



Nobody’s sea
According to El Ñuro fishers’ president Isabel Arismendiz, denounces never have made effect because they are briber people, he assures, and few times the Marine Captain of Talara have arrived to the place, it has not done anything.

For Peru's Ministry of Production (Produce), Regional Government of Piura (GOREPI) must face the problem, but without budget, how is it faced? In fact, Production Regional Office of Piura (DIREPRO as in Spanish), the GOREPI’s specialized dependance, alleges there is not enough logistics to control this: personnel, money and commitment lack.


While in Quebrada Verde, downloads happen day and night without limits, without weight control, without records – that is called illegal fishing and commerce.


Along the shore, dozens of men wait for the merchandise on cycles and cars for being sold in Los Órganos and Talara.




Zone needed
A proposal is giving legal powers to craft fishers for intervene joined to DIREPRO and Marine Captain, then facing this issue. Inclusive, creating Tropical Pacific Sea Reserved Zone could propitiate a space to solve this and another problems like predation of species that decimated other seas and continents. In all of them, the proposal of protected zones or areas for responsible management have worked.

The Zone includes Foca Island, El Ñuro, Punta Sal Reefs and Máncora Bank located about 20 km off shore. The rest of places is inside first five marine miles.

And even Peru’s President –Ollanta Humala or elected Pedro Pablo Kuczynski as well- signs on the resolution creating the Zone, the rule is temporary status. In other words, it allows prospecting the space, but it is dismissed if nothing worthy were found.

Let’s remember it has been stated the 70% of Peru’s marine biodiversity is between
Piura and Tumbes States, so a dismissal is theoretically improbable.

Zone opposers hold Sechura Bay’s fishers are put in jail by GOREPI and DIREPRO, what could be wrong. Instead, detainees brought forbidden apparels by law to be used inside five miles and were filed for blatancy crime.


Law prohibits carying jack nets inside this strip because they do not belong to craft fishing but industrial, what is actually allowed outside it. The problem is industrial fishers use to cross tat limit, to work illegally, as many craft fishers have denounced.


Under this legal argument, who work in Quebrada Verde should be filed for blatancy .


Vice-Ministry of Fishing’s top officials, depending from Produce, say the Zone must not be approved because of this reason.


At beach restaurants, this controversy is ignored making the national and (especially) foreign tourists turn into forced accomplices of sea predation for what they pay pretty well and enjoy without much regrets.


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