By José Antonio Pérez
More than 50 organizations that defend biodiversity and animal protection from across the globe have called on the Mexican Federal Government to save the endangered vaquita marina. Despite measures taken over the last six years, scientists have acknowledged that of 30 vaquitas thought to have been in existence there remain only 15, and it is unknown if this species can survive in captivity.
Therefore, NGOs from across the world have sent letters to the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), as well as the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER), expressing their concern regarding preservation of the vaquita marina, as well as the endangered totoaba.
Both the vaquita marina and totoaba are endemic to the Upper Gulf of California and, if strong conservation steps are not taken or legal measures applied, scientists argue it is likely the vaquita marina will be extinct by 2021, during the term of current Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
According to the letter sent to the Ministries, it is essential to save the vaquita marina and put an end to illegal fishing and commercialization of totoaba in order to maintain Mexico’s biodiversity.
Furthermore, the letter argues, the Mexican government must comply with international obligations, including those in detailed in the Agreement on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the World Heritage Convention.