Scientists Urge Mexico’s AMLO To Protect Endangered Porpoise

Published: Friday, December 28, 2018 - 5:05am
Updated: Friday, December 28, 2018 - 8:55am
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Mexican authorities patrol the Sea of Cortez for poachers.

An international group of scientists sent a letter to Mexico’s new president asking him to protect a small, endangered porpoise that lives in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez.

The letter signed by about 20 scientists from the U.S. and Mexico urges Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obredor to enforce a ban on illegal fishing nets that are used to poach a large fish called the totoaba.

Those nets are considered the leading threat to the vaquita marina, the world’s smallest and most endangered marine mammal. It gets caught in the totoaba gillnets and drowns.

“How big is the vaquita as a priority for this government? We haven’t seen anything yet that they will take this issue as a high priority,” said Alejandro Olivera, Mexico’s representative with the Center for Biological Diversity.

He said the new administration has already cut the budget for federal environmental agencies, and conservations are concerned about the new president’s commitment to protecting the environment.

Olivera says without immediate intervention, the vaquita is at risk of extinction.

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