Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs

Third Advisor

Mexico; California gray whale; Pacific manta; sea turtle; totoaba; fish stock assessment; fishery management


The decline of most Mexican fisheries has occurred so rapidly that few Mexicans and Americans alike fully appreciate the loss. The major focus of this paper will examine the false impression that Mexico is engaging in marine conservation; in reality, its conservation efforts are responses to after-the-fact actions brought on by world critics and as a vehicle to pacify conservationists. The Mexican government can pass a law but lacks the resources to administer and enforce the law and subsequently manage its fisheries in an effective manner. Rather than survey the state of every fishery found in Mexican waters, this paper will examine only four fisheries because of their unique economic, political and ecologic impact, and how the Mexican government allowed their demise. These fisheries are California gray whale, Pacific manta, sea turtle, and totoaba.