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Puerto Peñasco’s Fishing Roots

By Azucena Mazón

Peñasco’s origins stem from fishing, positioning it as one of the most important spots in northwestern Mexico. Today, the port’s fishing industry remains parallel in importance to tourism.

Shrimp fishing continues to be one of the main economic activities in the city and a source of employment for hundreds of people who each year launch their adventure in search of “pink gold.”

The fishing industry drew the first settlers to Puerto Peñasco in 1926. At that time dozens of people fished for the much sought after totoaba, whose capture is now prohibited. In the early twenties there was not a high demand for shrimp until the Japanese recognized its nutritional and commercial value.

Presently, approximately 100 boats in the shrimp fleet are preparing to head out to sea on September 14th at 6 a.m. once the season opens in the Upper Gulf of California. The season for coastal boats and smaller vessels opens on September 20th. Each season brings in nearly 1500 tons of shrimp, which are then exported principally to the U.S., as well as for national distribution.

Blue shrimp can be found in the region of Puerto Peñasco and the Upper Gulf, which given its size is highly desired for the preparation of shrimp based dishes. Medium-sized brown shrimp are also predominant in the area.

This is why shrimp, and the image of shrimp fishermen, are iconic symbols in Puerto Peñasco. These icons can be seen displayed both in the Plaza del Camarón as well as in the Malecón.

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