Don't kill the messenger!

budman

Member
May 8, 2006
263
66
Puerto Armuelles- Panama
Name
Capt John Maynard U.S.C.G. Licensed
Boat
23' Whaler & 32 Black-Fin sport fisher
I thought it might be of some help to any divers headed to the pacific side of Panama to give you some new information as to what is taking place here in Panama. I have been deeply involved with the marine conservation issues here over the last eight years as President of the Panama Marine Resource Foundation. The foundation is comprised of sport fishermen, commercial interests, dive lodges, sporting good dealers and just a lot of members who hope to keep Panama's marine resources in a sustainable manner. Some of you may have visited here and seen the abundant fishery we have. Recently in the last two years the diving opportunities have seen increased pressure on area's such as Montusoa Island and Hannibal banks.
The divers are now increasing in numbers due to some of the lodges encouraging "camp outs" on Montusoa Island and diving on the same "hi spots" day after day. The reef's and inshore areas of Coiba Island just can not sustain this without divers, commercial interests, sport fisher men and women understanding how fragile the balance is on this area. All of the dive lodges in the P.M.R.F., Hooked on Panama, Propiedad de Panama, Islas Secas, Paradise Fishing lodge and Cebico Bay Lodge all hold orientation meetings explaining Panama Law's and the P.M.R.F. policies. We do encourage deep water diving with a professional skipper and adhere to all Panama's laws as well as international ones. All foundation members do not allow the taking of any bill fish species, Rooster fish or Cubera snapper. There seems to be plenty of tuna, wahoo and big dorado in the open waters here. It is very dangerous when there are divers on Hannibal bank with sometimes 40 commercial boats and a dozen sport fishers trolling over the high points of the bank.The Panamanian government is now very concerned about the increased pressure on the resource and will be doing increased patrols.
Recently a group from "Divers for a cause" visited one of our lodges in Limones where I met with them. There were eight divers and some of their wife's. Several of them had just come in from a deep water free dive with several nice 80# to 100# yellow fin tuna. They explained the group only allows one big tuna a day per diver, after all how much fresh tuna can you eat? They, the divers then filleted the four fish and took them to the local schools cafeteria and presented them to the staff. At the school I met the other divers from the group who had been rotating daily working on scraping and painting the entire school! What a responsible group, I just wish our sport fishing members would start a similar program.

My message in posting this is to let all the divers know that we support responsible diving, keeping the numbers of Roosters, Cubera and other snapper's, plus all bill-fish in a sustainable manner The post will also let you be aware that some dive promoters are putting nothing back into the resource and some are even endangering their clients. Come down and enjoy Panama responsibly.
John Maynard President, P.M.R.F.
 
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PCH

El Nino 2015!!!!!!
Jul 14, 2008
2,145
1,124
North San Diego
Name
Paul
Boat
Gregor 20
Bud why not call out the lodges that are not being responsible? That way people interested in spearfishing can avoid them.

Panama is concerned about the pressure and will patrol more??? I doubt it, the last two administrations said the same thing and never did much at all. If there is one thing the pmrf could do to help out, it would be to have a WORKING relationship with the government to help enforce illegal activity. With all the lodges you mentioned, there are a lot of eyes on the water. If they could report the illegal activity and inform a Panamanian authorty that actually got shit done id be amazed and very grateful. Hopefully pmrf can work to get something like that going on becuase thats whats needed and panama is such a special place.
 
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budman

Member
May 8, 2006
263
66
Puerto Armuelles- Panama
Name
Capt John Maynard U.S.C.G. Licensed
Boat
23' Whaler & 32 Black-Fin sport fisher
You are 100% right and now several of the lodge members are working with A.N.A.M. We also have been working with the Smithsonian institute as they are doing a study at Hannibal bank. We have a couple hundred members here in Panama and several U.S. Corporations such as Shimano, A.F.T.C.O. King Release Mounts, Suzuki Motors of Panama, Panama Red Rum, Panamonte Brands and Rapala who also support the foundation. As you know Panama as of now requires no fishing licenses or diving permits. There is no other country i know of that does not have some charge to hunt or fish in there waters. The government here always say's "We have no money for a marine patrol agency so why not charge a fishing license or boat registration fee? We have suggested this but specified that all money collected must go to the marine patrol agency and not the general fund. If there any of the divers and fishermen who read this post and use the waters of Panama they should join the Panama Marine Resource Foundation as we are the only voice they will have when the new regulations are adapted. Tony Pena and many others know and understand what we are trying to accomplish here. Please join the fight to keep Panama ass the worlds best sport fishing destination. Thanks
 
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Blackfish

Marble collector.
Sep 20, 2005
6,303
4,716
My Backyard
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.
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toy
Good post. Might want to also post it on the Fishing Chit Chat board...more views. :)
 
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