Dockside with Herdez del FuerteMayo 20th, 2015
PAST: What is your name?
Eduardo Enrique Valle Palacios.
PAST: How long have you worked for Herdez del Fuerte?
About 6 years.
PAST: How did you get into fishing?
I started at the age of 12 at San Felipe Fishing High School in Baja California, Mexico.
PAST: What is the most exciting part of your job?
Capturing fish in its various forms.
PAST: What does a typical day look like for you?
My day starts half an hour before sunrise. I make the bed, get dressed, say a prayer and have two cups of coffee. I head to the bridge, turn on the radar and then start maneuvering the vessel to locate the shoal.
Then the helicopter takes off to help with the search. In addition, the crew is searching using long range binoculars—one in the crow’s nest, one halfway up the mast and one right across the bridge. If we find a school, we proceed to maneuver into position so we can shoot the net. We then circle the school, haul in the fish and repeat the process. The sunset is around 6 or 7 pm, which indicates the end of the capture. I then take a bath, have dinner, read a book or watch a film and wait for the next day to begin.
PAST: What do you do on this vessel?
I’m the fishing captain in charge of the production of the boat.
PAST: How many people work with you?
PAST: Why do you think sustainable fishing is important?
To preserve the fish stocks for future generations. And because a sustainable fishery is required.
PAST: Why do you think it is important to protect the ocean?
It is our responsibility to maintain the sustainability of fishing so that everyone may enjoy the benefits today and ensure that fishing is possible for future generations.
PAST: Have you seen a change in the way the industry fishes for tuna?
The industry has changed through the use of radars to detect birds, satellite buoys, technology for measuring the current, improvements to the nets, etc.
PAST: What measures does your vessel take to ensure that these fish are caught sustainably?
When fishing for tuna, we measure the size and weight to confirm that they are adults and therefore have spawned many times. In addition to that, we use nets with a Medina panel in conjunction with a “back down” maneuver, a raft, two divers and a crew of 8 who are properly trained to release anything caught in the net. We also comply with various national and international programs.
PAST: If you had one message for other fishermen, what would it be?
That it is in all of our interest to promote and preserve sustainable fishing. We want fishing go on for many years. In addition to being a source of employment, fishing provides people in Mexico and around the world with a vital source of food.