83 F
Mérida
Thursday, September 23, 2021
###

U.S. lawsuit seeks trade sanctions against Mexico as vaquita porpoise faces extinction

Latest headlines

30% of La Plancha to be sold to the private sector

La Plancha is the largest undeveloped plot of land in the Centro. Although it will not be part of the Tren Maya, 30% is intended to be sold to the private sector.

Blocked from Chichén Itzá, new-age pilgrims congregate in Uxmal

Both Chichén Itzá and Dzibilchaltún were closed to the public during the fall equinox due to concerns over COVID-19 infections, as well as land disputes. 

Tensions flare over plans for Mérida’s new stadium

Promotion of Housing Industry, says Mérida’s new multi-purpose stadium will increase property values in the city’s north. 

Mérida’s most powerful art collection turns 50

The work of Yucatán's most celebrated muralist, Fernando Castro Pacheco (1918-2013), housed in Mérida's Palacio de Gobierno, turned 50 on Independence Day.
Yucatán Magazine
Sign up to get our top headlines delivered to your inbox twice a week.
A 2018 protest at the Mexican embassy in Washington, D.C., brings attention to the dwindling vaquita population. Photo: Getty

Conservation groups sued the Trump administration today to force what they say is a long-overdue decision to sanction Mexico for its illegal fishing and trade that is causing the vaquita porpoise’s extinction. The U.S. government has ignored conservationists’ 2014 legal petition seeking sanctions, including a ban on all fish and wildlife imports from Mexico, submitted under a U.S. law called the Pelly Amendment.

The lawsuit, filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) against the U.S. Department of the Interior, explains that vaquita become entangled and drown in Mexican fishing gear set to catch totoaba, an endangered fish. As few as 10 vaquita remain worldwide, and if Mexico continues to allow illegal fishing and trade, international scientific experts predict that the tiny porpoise is “doomed to extinction.” 

“Mexico is still sitting on its hands while vaquita after vaquita dies in fishing nets,” said Sarah Uhlemann, international program director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “We’ve tried advocacy, we’ve tried diplomacy, but we’re near the vaquita’s end. Economic pressure is necessary to force Mexico to finally wake up and stop the vaquita’s extinction.”

Mexican law prohibits totoaba fishing, and trading in totoaba is banned under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) because the totoaba is endangered. Yet Mexico has repeatedly failed to enforce these bans.

The lawsuit demands a formal “certification” by the U.S. government that Mexico’s illegal totoaba fishing and trade violates and “diminishes the effectiveness” of CITES. If Mexico is certified, the Trump administration can sanction the country by prohibiting all wildlife imports, including seafood, under the Pelly Amendment. Earlier this year, the United States banned shrimp and other seafood imports from the vaquita’s habitat in Mexico under a different law; a ban under the Pelly Amendment would expand those sanctions.

“The U.S. government’s delay in responding to the petition is unconscionable and has allowed the vaquita to teeter on the edge of extinction,” said D.J. Schubert, wildlife biologist for AWI. “The Pelly Amendment provides a tool to compel Mexico to stop illegal fishing and trade in fish products to save the world’s smallest and most endangered marine mammal. It’s time for the Trump administration to exercise its authority and put this law to use.”   

Despite the vaquita’s decline and the totoaba’s endangered status, Mexico has failed to stop totoaba fishing and trade. In December, hundreds of fishermen in an estimated 80 small boats were documented illegally fishing for totoaba in the vaquita’s habitat in the Upper Gulf of California. The Mexican government has yet to announce charges against any of the fishermen involved. In March, one of the last remaining vaquita was reported dead and entangled in a totoaba net. According to scientists, all gillnets must be removed from the vaquita’s range to save the species from extinction.  

Source: Animal Welfare Institute

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

More articles

Yucatán highlights the value of corn with three fairs in September

Three fairs in Yucatán will honor the labor of local communities growing and preserving creole corn.

Casa Vagantes is a rescued wonder found behind Paseo Montejo

Casa Vagantes comprises a traditional abode with a surface of 70 square meters / 754 square feet and has been fully revamped with modern travelers in mind.

Jazz festival to make its comeback in Playa del Carmen this November

The festival will be of a hybrid nature, with some of the events being held online to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, city authorities announced.

Mérida prepares to host Mexico’s most important tourism trade show

The event known as the Tianguis Turístico Mexico will bring together representatives from the country’s 32 states, as well as buyers from 70 countries.

The great Kukulkán prepares for his descent, but no one will be there to see him

As was the case during the last spring equinox, Chichén Itzá closed for three days as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19.

Yucatán kicks-off rabies vaccination campaign for cats and dogs

This week marks the beginning of Yucatán's rabies vaccination program for cats and dogs

House permits for foreigners — How to buy a house in México

Any foreigner can obtain direct ownership of a property in the interior of the country, they just need a permit from the Foreigner Affair's Office. However, under Mexican law, foreigners cannot directly own property within the restricted zone.

Bars, cantinas, and sports centers to re-open in Yucatán

Mérida’s bars and cantinas will be allowed to operate once again, but only at 50% capacity. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der...

Great news for music enthusiasts: Santa Lucia Serenades To Return In October

We think that the serenades are learning the necessary measurements very quickly to be able to open this show,” says Mérida's director of Culture.

The small but beautiful ancient city of Chicanná

Chicanná gets its name from its most famous building, the House of the Serpent Mouth.