Mexico El Rosario ocean whitefish - pot/trap

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Ocean whitefish (Caulolatilus princeps) is an important fishery for the communities in the northwest of México. The ocean whitefish fishery catches have remained stable in the last five years in the west coast in the Baja California Peninsula, but there are not any management tools other than permits for access to the fishery. The permits are general for scalefish, so there not any specification about how ocean whitefish should be fished.

Fishermen from El Rosario, Baja California were interested in developing a sustainable fishery - they have have been committed to sustainable fisheries since 1940 and have worked on marine reserves with Comunidad y Biodiversidad, A. C. (COBI) for six years.  Thus, they approached COBI again to help them to reach fisheries international standards.

The first step towards sustainability was to complete a preliminary assessment to fishery against the Marine Stewardship Council standard in April 2017. The main gaps identified by the preliminary assessment were the lack of a formal stock assessment for the fishery status and lack of a bycatch management strategy. The habitat status was identified as a minor concern, however, the trap impact on the bottom needs to be evaluated. Further efforts need to be made in order to promote the fishery in sustainable markets.

Future assessments will help to know new gaps in the performance of the fishery. Meanwhile, fishermen from El Rosario are aware about the high pressure on ocean whitefish in the southern area of the Baja California peninsula in the last years and they are interested in developing a sustainable fishery to set an example in the region.

FIP Description 

Ocean whitefish (Caulolatilus princeps) is an important fishery for the communities in the northwest of México.

FIP Objective(s) 

By 2022, this project seeks to meet the following objectives:

  • Promote the fishery and develop a sustainable fishery as an example to replicate in the region
  • Generate basic fishery monitoring
  • Investigation of possible impacts on other fisheries
  • Access to markets interested in sustainability
  • Design a decision making processes in the fishery and a management program
  • Improvement of the compliance of legality of the fishery performance
FIP Type 
FIP Stage 
Stage 3: FIP Implementation
Start and Projected End Dates
December 2017
December 2022
Next Progress Report Due 
Saturday, May 30, 2020
Common Name 
Golden Tilefish
Scientific Name 
Caulolatilus princeps
Additional Names 
Ocean whitefish
Gear Type 
FAO Major Fishing Area
Area 77 (Pacific, Eastern Central)
Exclusive Economic Zones
Regional Fisheries Management Organization
Estimated Total FIP Landings 
35 metric tons
Estimated Total Fishery Landings 
1,023 metric tons

FIP at a Glance

50% 25% 25%
December 01, 2017
50% 25% 25%
Progress Rating

A - Advanced Progress
Reserved for comprehensive FIPs that have a Stage 4 or 5 result within the past 12 months.

B - Good Progress
A FIP that has achieved a Stage 4 or 5 in more than 12 months AND Stage 3 activity in the last year; OR a basic FIP that has achieved Stage 4 or 5 achievements within the past 12 months.

C - Some Recent Progress
A FIP that has achieved a Stage 4 or 5 result in more than 12 (but less than 24) months but has not generated a Stage 3 result within the past 12 months OR a FIP younger than a year that has never achieved a Stage 4 or 5 result but has completed a Stage 3 activity.

D - Some Past Progress
A FIP for which the most recent publicly reported Stage 4 or 5 result is more than 24 (but less than 30) months.

E - Negligible Progress
A FIP older than a year that has not reported a Stage 4 or 5 result in more than 30 month (but less than 36) months; OR a FIP younger than 1 year that has not reported a Stage 3 activity.

The ratings are currently derived by SFP from publicly available data on FIP websites, including, and are determined using the following methodology: View PDF
B Good Progress
Actions Complete
  • Complete
  • Incomplete
Next Update Due FisheryProgress requires a FIP to provide update reports every six months, and two missed reports will render the FIP inactive. If a report is overdue, this date will appear red.
May 2020
Target End Date
Dec 2022
Some FIPs include objectives that go beyond the 28 indicators. Clicking on the links below will provide additional detail on other impacts the FIP is working to achieve.

FIP Leads

Organization Name 
Comunidad y Biodiversidad, A.C.
Organization Type 
Primary Contact 
Alesa Flores
+52 612 122 40 93
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