FiTI assessment of Mexico shows need for greater transparency in marine sector governance

Published on
July 12, 2022
A boat sailing at sunset.

The Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI) has released results for an assessment of government transparency on Mexico’s marine fisheries sector, finding over half the information is difficult access online – but that the government shows clear interest in relaying information. 

The assessment was conducted in collaboration with Causa Natura, a Mexican-based company focused on research to promote sustainable management of natural resources.

The assesment is part of a project by FiTI named "Taking Stock" that assess the “level of information national authorities publish on government websites regarding the country’s marine fisheries sector.” It focused on the level of information published by the Mexican national authorities against the FiTI Standard, which defines what fisheries management information should be published online.

The results concluded that 48 percent of applicable transparency elements have information online published by Mexico’s national authorities, 41 percent has no information online, and 11 percent has no information that has been collated or compiled. FiTI explains the assessment shows Mexico’s national authorities provide substantial information on the marine fisheries sector, and has clear interest in sharing with the public.

There is a significant amount of information that is unavailable (possibly available to national authorities), needs improved quality, and/or is difficult to be found by a layperson.

FiTI made multiple recommendations for better Mexican governmental transparency were included in the assessment. The first is to make all unpublished information publicly available, including information on transshipment, catches disaggregated by fleet segment, jobs generated in the post-capture sector, and more.

The second is to address information gaps including status of fisheries resources, discards from large-scale and small-scale fisheries, and a few other gaps.

The third is to ensure information can be easily found in different sources, currently there are five sources to find information, which can often have different levels of detail.

The assessment suggests categorizing information through a system, preparing a catalog, and several other organization techniques. The last recommendation is to share fisheries information with the general public and suggested to take technical contents from the detailed data sets and make them into infographics or interactive databases to allow easy conclusions to be drawn about the sector.

Overall, the goal of the "Taking Stock" assessments is to deepen public understanding of how the governments around the world approach transparency in marine fisheries management. They have already explored The United States, Peru, Mauritius, Bangladesh, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Comoros. 

Photo courtesy of Ruth Peterkin/Shutterstock

Contributing editor/Reporting from Hawaii, U.S.A.

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