NGOs across Latin America call for protection of vaquita marina

With only an estimated ten of the endangered vaquita marina left in the Upper Gulf of California, in August thirty-seven environmental organizations from across Latin America called on Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador to halt a July 2021 Agreement published in the Official Journal of the Federation that establishes factors for either partial or complete closure to fishing in the area.

The NGOs from Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, Argentina, Costa Rica, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Peru believe the agreement in fact eliminates the “Zero Tolerance Zone” meant to protect the endangered vaquita marina, and urge the Mexican government to immediately intervene in order to save the species.

The request emphasizes, “…illegal fishing and the trafficking of totoaba has not been controlled at any time, (these efforts) have only accomplished the removal of fishing nets by federal authorities as well as by the Sea Shepherd and Museo de la Ballena organizations, actions which should continue until there can be effective control of unlawful fishing in the zone.”

The NGOs further demand permanent monitoring of the vaquita marina Refuge Area, development of alternative fishing nets, and comprehensive support for fishermen and communities with legal fishing practices along the coasts of San Felipe, Baja California, the Golfo de Santa Clara, and Puerto Peñasco, Sonora.



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