MEXICO CITY – Conservation groups say the Mexican government’s lack of action is to blame for the near-extinction of the critically endangered vaquita marina porpoise.
The groups say the National Fisheries Commission didn’t supervise fishing season rules and improperly increased catch quotas in the upper Gulf of California. They say the commission failed to give fishermen better nets to avoid trapping vaquitas.
The world’s smallest porpoise is found only in the gulf, also known as the Sea of Cortez. There are probably fewer than 30 remaining. Vaquitas are often killed in nets set for totoaba fish, whose swim bladders are prized in China.
Monday’s report by Greenpeace, the Defenders of Wildlife and others comes one day after Mexico said it had reached agreements with China and the United States to combat totoaba fishing.