Mexico Steps Up Efforts to Save Endangered Vaquita
Latin American Herald Tribune
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April 1, 2016
Sea Shepherd finds 3 dead vaquitas in 3 weeks (Sea Shepherd Conservation Society)
Federal agencies are stepping up patrols and monitoring to protect the Gulf of California harbor porpoise, a rare marine mammal known in Mexico as the “vaquita” (sea cow), and fight trafficking in the totoaba, an endangered fish species that is highly prized in China, the Environment and Natural Resources Secretariat said.
The expanded protection effort is being carried out with the support of the Navy Secretariat, the Defense Secretariat, the National Security Commission and the National Aquaculture and Fishing Commission, the secretariat said in a statement.
Two small boats, vehicles and 135 sailors are being added to the enforcement force on the land and sea, the secretariat said.
Four inspectors from the Profepa federal environmental protection agency and Federal Police officers are joining the force to man checkpoints and conduct patrols on land.
The new resources are being added to the Upper Gulf of California Integrated Protection Program launched in April 2015, under which 13 ships, a helicopter-carrying ship, a plane and five vehicles were deployed to fight illegal fishing and trafficking in protected marine species.
The vaquita is threatened by fishing in its habit in the Upper Gulf of California and Colorado River Delta Biosphere Reserve in the Gulf of California.
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