SEMARNAT reported that this strategy was recommended by the International Committee for the Recovery of Vaquita (Cirva), the world’s smallest porpoise, endemic to the Upper Gulf of California. SEMARNAT also stressed that the Vaquita CRP conservation plan will be carried out alongside joint efforts to eliminate the threat of gillnets and illegal fishing in that area.
In that sense, they reported that the decline in the population of the Vaquita is a consequence of the accidental death of porpoises in gill nets. In 2015 the federal government announced a two-year ban on fishing in the Upper Gulf of California and gave opportunities for the development of sustainable fishing gear, among other actions.
The agency added that the project will be funded with complementary contributions from international civil associations committed to the conservation of marine mammals.
According to the authorities, this project will begin in autumn because the tranquility of the sea will favor the location of the Vaquita, and will be carried out alongside the elimination of illegal fishing nets in the area, according to AFP information.
Authorities and environmentalists estimate that no more than 30 Vaquitas are left in Mexico’s Gulf of California, which have been dying in nets designed to illegally fish another endangered species, such as the totoaba fish.
The period in which the vaquita has suffered its strongest decline coincides with the arrival of officials and militants of Mexico’s Ecological Green Party to Semarnat.
In 2012, about 200 specimens of the world’s smallest porpoise were swimming in the waters of the Upper Gulf of California, and as of February this year, the population barely reached 30, according to the latest report of the International Committee for the Recovery of the species (Comite Internacional de Recuperacion de la Vaquita Marina: CIRVA).