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Officially, Yucatan’s grouper fishing season began on April 1, after its catch was prohibited in February and March.

Under normal conditions, almost every boat would have launched in search of the prized fish. But coronavirus health contingencies have slowed the start of the season.

Fishermen told Punto Medio that between five and 10 ships out of 500 have begun a typical 20-day fishing expedition.

Before being allowed to cast nets, fishermen must present to the maritime authority, in addition to their regular papers, a medical certificate that guarantees that they are in good health and do not present any symptoms that could be coronavirus.

Seafarers working for the Pescamex fishery this week visited the CMA clinic in Progreso for medical exams.

Grouper is fair catch until next February. The yearly two-month ban helps maintain populations of grouper, which take longer than many other fish to reach maturity.