Campeche's Fishing Fleet | Mexico | Living in Mexico

Campeche's Fishing Fleet

A couple of centuries ago, Campeche was the major seaport for southern Mexico. Eclipsed by Mérida, it declined, becoming a town dependent on farming and, most importantly, fishing.


Hundreds of small-time fishermen go out at night or in the early morning. Their fleet is ratty, but they provide much of the food for the city.


Mostly nets are used—except for the shark fishermen. The nets are suspended from crude poles cut in the mangroves.

The fishermen catch squid, and small white fish; for example, dorado and sea bass. Some drag for octopus, conch and shrimp. Those are the main choices on every menu in town. Ever try octopus and conch ceviche? It's quite good, actually.

Carlos here wanted to pose for me. He was well along in the process of drinking away the day's cares when I met him.


He told me, "That's another photo for your collection." Thanks, Carlos.

Fishermen build shacks for cleaning fish, to provide shelter for the guy watching the boats overnight, for just hanging out and drinking beer.


This shack is luxuriously furnished with an old overstuffed chair.

Gulls hang out, too. They like this particular boat. I saw them perched like this several days in a row.


Rich fishermen have larger boats, some with cabins built on the sterns.


Poor fishermen, like these cormorants, use more modest gear.


Yep. It's the SS For Women Only.

Small fishermen find it hard to make a living anymore. Rents are high, gas costs too much, competition from other food sources is tough. They're a dying breed. In a few years, they'll be gone. Better see them while you can.