The National Fisheries Institute (INAPESCA) belongs to the Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) and coordinates and conducts scientific and technological research on fisheries and aquaculture resources. No regular stock assessment of Pacific sierra is conducted in Mexico. The little information available on the stock status of Pacific sierra in Mexico comes from some regional studies conducted at the state-level. (Espino-Barr et al. 2012) analyzed the yield per recruit and estimated fishing and natural mortality with samples collected in 2003 in the state of Colima. (Zamora-García 2013) developed an age-structured Thompson-Bell yield per recruit analysis with samples collected in 2012 and 2013 in Baja California Sur.
In addition, due to the relevance of Pacific sierra for Mexican fisheries, some studies have been conducted on the life history and fisheries biology of the species, including investigations on size-at-age, mortality, fecundity, age and growth, feeding and demography (Ramírez-Pérez 2010)(Zárate-Becerra and Nava-Ortega 2016).
Since 2000 INAPESCA edits the National Fisheries Chart (CNP) which is updated regularly and is developed under the Fisheries Law. The CNP constitutes a state of the art review of Mexican fisheries (by species or group of species) and defines guidelines, strategies and measures for conservation, protection and management of the fishing resources. In the last update of the CNP (DOF 2012) no explicit information regarding Pacific sierra was provided. The previous update (DOF 2010) suggested that the fishery should be regulated if catches drop below certain limits depending on the states (See Reference points section). It was also suggested a minimum landing size of 50 mm for some regions. Last it was proposed that the species should be managed through a specific management plan (Aguirre-Villaseñor et al. 2006).
Further advice has been provided in the last years through scientific publications authored by INAPESCA staff. Espino-Barr et al. (Espino-Barr et al. 2017) suggested two fishing closures in May and September each year to protect the reproduction and recruitment of the individuals. Some authors (Espino-Barr et al. 2012)(Lucano-Ramírez et al. 2011) suggested to increase the age at first capture to 5 -6 years (44-46 cm). Last, Zárate-Becerra and Nava-Ortega (Zárate-Becerra and Nava-Ortega 2016) suggested the reduction or no increase of fishing pressure based on mortality indexes off Nayarit and increase the monitoring efforts.
The 2010 update of the CNP (DOF 2010) suggested that the specific management measures should be taken if catches dropped below the following reference points: 1,000 tons in the state of Sonora, 550 in Sinaloa, 100 tons in Baja California, 200 tons in Baja California Sur, 250 tons in Nayarit, 90 tons in Jalisco, 70 tons in Colima, 70 tons in Michoacan, 50 tons in Guerrero and 70 tons in Oaxaca and Chiapas. These reference points however were not included in the last update of the CNP (DOF 2012).
No stock assessment of Pacific sierra has been recently conducted in Mexico so stock status is currently unknown. Catches have been increasing since the 1960's with record high values in 2014 and 2015 (the last two years with data) (FAO 2015).
The most recent stock status comes from two studies reporting the resource as overfished (or similar term) based on the data provided in the following table:
Espino-Barr et al., 2012
Zárate-Becerra et al., 2016
Year of data
2009, 2010, 2011
Origin of data
Total mortality (y-1)
Natural mortality (y-1)
Fishing mortality (y-1)
Yield per recruit (g)
High fishing pressure
However, the CNP update of 2010 (DOF 2010) stated that the fishery of Pacific sierra in central and southern Mexican regions has some potential for further development and the IUCN assessment (IUCN 2008) reported the population trend as “stable”. A review of the state of Mexican fisheries (Arreguín-Sánchez and Arcos-Huitrón 2011) stated that the fishery of Scomberomorus spp (a group of species including the Pacific sierra) was fully developed in the Gulf of California and overexploited in the central Mexican Pacific.
Catches of Pacific sierra in Mexico have been steadily increasing from ~1000 tons in the 1960’s tons to ~12000 tons in 2015 (FAO 2015).