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Story Publication logo August 9, 2013

The Seri Struggle to Maintain Their Fishery

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English

The Sea of Cortez is—or was—a vast and lush underwater paradise. Industrial fishing operations are...

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Image by Dominic Bracco II. Mexico, 2012.

The Seri people of the eastern Sonoran desert have spent the last 100 years fighting for their very survival against first the Spanish and then the Mexican government, which was determined to eradicate them. Today, just 800 remain on the coast — fishing and maintaining their traditions. Because their land is protected by law, the waters abutting it see fewer fishermen and thus are healthier than many of the communities to the north and south.

But the people here feel that their territory is still under attack from the outside. Specifically, they look to large industrial trawlers as interlopers that come in, take what they can, and leave devastation in their wake. As a result, many have started to board these large boats and demand a cut of their nightly haul. What many fisherman see as piracy, the Seri see as the only way they can fight powers that are seemingly out of their control.

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