Abandoned Fishing Nets Are Being Recycled in Mexico
Not-for-profit groups remove nets to protect endangered porpoises (World Animal Protection USA)
Update: Vaquita Capture Plan Suspended, But Efforts to Save Species Continue (Union-Tribune)
The not-for-profit group World Animal Protection says it has joined forces with the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita (CIRVA), Monterey Bay Diving and local fishermen in San Felipe, Mexico, to locate abandoned gillnets in vaquita porpoise habitat areas.
The team used sonar scanning technology to find discarded nets likely to entangle vaquitas, ultimately removing approximately 2,000 square meters of such netting. The mission was funded by WWF Mexico. The gillnets recovered will be recycled by companies and not-for-profit groups, including New York-based Parley for the Oceans, through the Global Ghost Gear Initiative, founded by World Animal Protection, to make nylon-based products out of the abandoned nets.
Some 5,700 square meters of netting was found and recycled during an expedition in May 2017. The reduced amount of netting found in November is “a hopeful sign that the habitat may finally be safer for these animals,” according to the groups involved.
World Animal Protection calls the vaquita porpoise “the world’s most critically endangered marine mammal, with just an estimated 23 individual vaquitas remaining in the Gulf of California in Mexico.” The group says Illegal fishing activity and the resulting abandoned gillnets, also known as ghost nets, are the single biggest cause of the vaquita’s near eradication.
See the original at Recycling Today
Related: Animal Protection Groups, Fishermen Team Up to Remove Illegal Gillnets in Vaquita Porpoise Habitat (SeafoodNews.com)
Related: Endangered Vaquita Dies During Conservation Effort, Threatening Extinction (IBTimes)
Related: Totoaba Trafficking a Conservation and Security Problem (Mongabay)
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