Grouper season is over, and a festival to support the fishing villages has begun.
State officials on Friday announced a two-month-long Festival de la Veda del Mero, a series of events along the coast.
At a press conference, Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal announced the launch of the campaign, which promotes the beaches of Yucatan as a tourist destination. It is meant to help the coastal economy during the fishing ban.
Providers of tourist services will offer discounts on kayak and bike rentals, as well as sightseeing tours.
In addition, government assistance provided to almost 12,000 fishermen will rise 10 percent, the first increase in 14 years. In total, beneficiaries will receive 40 million pesos.
The festival has a budget of 90 million pesos, which includes not just tourist events but food and other support for the residents.
Vila Dosal extended an invitation to the public to show solidarity with the fishermen, who in many cases lose their livelihood while the fish are given time to reproduce. The ban also applies to tourists who spearfish.
The ban is important for the grouper, which takes longer than many other fish to reach maturity. The population can also be negatively affected if the fish are caught before they have had the chance to spawn.
Grouper should not be served in restaurants during the ban, but is something to look forward to in April when the new fishing season begins.