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RE: Killiefish in Mexico - Cancun/cautionary

I would strongly caution anyone against trying to do any serious collecting
in Mexico without a permit. In previous years, if one had only a few fish,
there was seldom any problem.  In fact, for many years the only people who
asked me for a Mexican collecting permit were the US Customos agents when I
crossed the border on my return... In the last few years, that situation
has changed, and Mexican officials at the borders have become increasingly
proactive and savy about collecting, endangered species, permits, etc. This
is especially true when one crosses the border in a car or van.  Several of
my colleagues have experienced long delays, or the confiscation of their
catch, or been charged "fines" etc. In one instance, the collector even had
a permit but got stopped anyway while the permit was being "authenticated"
by calls to Mexico City, etc.  I haven't heard of any US biologists getting
stopped "in country" rather than at the border, but a MEXICAN colleague,
with permits to cover all contingencies, did have trouble in one area when
he unwittingly fished on property belonging to the local farm cooperative.
The people running this palce did not recognize the right of the Mexican
government to issue permits for waters that on their farm, even though the
the farm itself is a kind of federal  government agency.  Rather than get
involved in endless hassles, my colleague left without collecting anything.
My advice:look but don't take, unless you have the permit or are working
with someone who does.


					Bruce J. Turner
					Assoc. Professor of Biology
					VPISU, Blacksburg, VA 24061
					fishgen at vt_edu

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