Thursday, June 13, 2024

Scientists call on AMLO to save vaquita with ban on possession of gillnets

A group of prominent scientists has issued an appeal to President López Obrador to issue a ban on possessing gillnets in the upper Gulf of California to save the endangered vaquita porpoise.

Mexico has banned the use of gillnets in the area but enforcing the ban has proved almost impossible.

So the scientists have urged a ban on their possession, which could be enforced by inspecting fishboats before they leave shore.

“This is the only practical option for effectively enforcing the law,” wrote the letter’s signatories, who include Barbara Taylor, a conservation biologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States, and Omar Vidal, representative in Mexico of the World Wildlife Fund.

The letter also stressed the need to protect the vaquitas remaining in the wild, a daunting task that the latest research suggests can still be accomplished.

During an inspection visit carried out in September in the Gulf of California, specialists sighted six or seven vaquita specimens, including a cow with its calf.

Observations suggest that vaquitas live concentrated in a 20 by 40-kilometer area, small enough to be protected with buoys that would impede the entry of fishboats.

Gillnets that are used to fish illegally for totoaba — another endemic fish species from the Gulf of California whose swim bladder is considered a delicacy in Asia — have led to the drastic decline in numbers of the vaquita porpoise, leading to its near extinction.

“Your administration can save the vaquita and set an example for Mexico and the world,” the scientists wrote to López Obrador.

Source: Associated Press (sp)

Have something to say? Paid Subscribers get all access to make & read comments.
Refugees displaced by an armed attack on their Chiapas town stand in the bleachers of a open air sports court and look at proceedings below through a protective wire fence

Over 4,000 residents flee Chiapas town following armed attack

2
Thousands in the Chiapas town who fled a June 4 armed attack by a criminal group refuse to go home until authorities can ensure their safety.
An endangered vaquita swimming in the ocean

May vaquita porpoise survey finds fewer specimens than in 2023

0
The survey, which takes place annually in Mexico’s Upper Gulf of California, recorded the lowest-ever number of individual vaquitas.
Man in uniform and hard hat spraying auditorium seats for mosquitos, surrounded by pesticide fumes.

Study shows dengue cases in Mexico primed for widespread expansion

0
As dengue cases in Mexico continue to rise in 2024, a new study predicts that the mosquito-borne virus will affect 81% of Mexico by 2039.