Mexico's principal commercial catches are shrimp, sardines, bass, pike, abalone, Spanish mackerel, and red snapper. Coastal fishing is important. The 2000 catch was 1,314,219 tons. The leading species caught by volume that year were California pilchard, 459,811 tons; yellowfin tuna, 102,340 tons; tilapia, 68,772 tons and penaeus shrimp, 61,597 tons.
The fishing industry is largely handled by cooperative societies, which are granted monopolies on the most valuable species of fish. Most fish processed in Mexico's canneries are consumed domestically. Ensenada, in Baja California, is Mexico's most important fisheries center. It produces most of the canned fish and virtually all of Mexico's abalone and spiny lobster exports. Mexico's first fisheries college, the Higher Institute of Marine Sciences, is located in Ensenada. In 2000, Mexico's exports of fish products were valued at over $706.5 million.