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Activists Blame Mexico Gov’t for Near-Loss of Vaquita

Agence France-Presse
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August 29, 2017

A young woman with the World Wildlife Fund carries a papier mache replica of the critically endangered porpoise known as the vaquita marina, during an event in front of the National Palace calling on the Mexican government to take additional steps to protect the world’s smallest marine mammal, in Mexico City. (Rebecca Blackwell/Associated Press)

Mexican fishing authorities have boycotted the effort to save the critically endangered vaquita marina porpoise, environmentalists said Monday, calling them "accomplices" in the near-extinction of the world's smallest porpoise.

While Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has embarked on a much-vaunted campaign to save the estimated 30 vaquitas that remain - winning the backing of Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio and billionaire Carlos Slim - the effort is too little, too late, said Greenpeace and other groups.

Worse, fishing authorities in Pena Nieto's own government have contributed to the vaquita's demise, they told a press conference.

The National Aquaculture and Fishing Committee (Conapesca) "has been an accomplice within the government in pushing the vaquita to the near-imminent extinction it faces today," said the head of Greenpeace Mexico, Miguel Rivas.

The groups accuse Conapesca of failing to carry out inspections to detect illegal fishing, raising the limit of fish that boats are allowed to bring in and increasing the number of boats authorized to fish in vulnerable areas.

The vaquita is found only in the Gulf of California, which is also the source of half of Mexico's fisheries production.

Read the rest at France24

Related: Civil Organizations Demand Destitution of Fishery Department Director Over Vaquita Case (El Universal)

Related: In Trinational Talks, Mexico, China, US Agree to Combat Illegal Trafficking of Totoaba (Mexico News Daily)

Related: How Mexican Crime Groups Profit from Illegal Fish Bladder Trade (Insight Crime)

  Check out Deep Blue Conservancy

  Check out The Western Ecological Society

  Check out Ecological Group of Costa Verde

  Check out Association for Environmental Unity in Mexico

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