It refers to slow action for anglers, but what's depressing is Kunze's critical reference to a pair of sailfish tournaments in which all billfish are killed; and to an alarmingly high level of long-lining occurring off Ziuhuatanejo and to the north off Manzanillo.
Kunze, a representative for the International Game Fish Assn., is a long-time resident of Zihuatanejo and penned his report to coincide with the International Sailfish Tournament, which was held over the weekend.
That and a similar tournament off Nearby Lazero Cardenes are "the only ones I know of in the world which kills every billfish brought to the boat," Kunze writes.
Most billfish tournaments these days -- including some off Zihuatanejo -- offer incentives for catch-and-release, or penalize anglers for boating fish under a certain weight.
"They actually think they're entitled to the fish because they paid the entry fee and sport fishing license," Kunze writes of those who participated in the IST. "I remember a few years back when over 800 to a thousand sailfish were killed during this 3-day span."
It gets much worse. The fishing report includes recollections of Kunze's recent visit to Manzanillo with one of his captains, named Cheva. "What Cheva and I discovered in Manzanillo was a sport fisherman's worst nightmare. I personally saw 30 longlines -- rigged and ready to go. And, the local captains told us there were as many as 200 long lines in the pangas fishing in the area."
Zihuatanejo also is a hub for long-lining. Cheva took local residents named Don and Mary Grantges fishing, and they witnessed first-hand the destructive nature of mile-long lines with baited hooks. Turtles, dolphins and sharks were tangled in a "floating killing machine of a long line which had been cut by a large oil tanker or another large ship."
The three anglers managed to free five turtles (one of them is pictured) and a dolphin.
Of the images posted into Kunze's report he writes, "either weep, at what is really going on out there, or rejoice as a few were saved."
The report ends with this this passage: "Another note is when Mary, who is a Mexican national, went to complain about the situation with the port captain, they told her it was out of their jurisdiction, plus they were leaving for lunch at that hour and could not help her.
"Mary was really pissed... in both English and Spanish."
-- Images show a turtle and dolphin entangled in long-line fishing gear off Zihuatanejo. Both animals were freed. Credit: Ed Kunze