WWF response to the Government of Mexico permanently banning the use of gillnets in the Upper Gulf of California...
This is a fantastic and encouraging step forward in the path to saving the vaquita, provided the ban is fully enforced and accompanied by fishing alternatives for local communities. Today could mark a turning point for the world’s most endangered marine mammal, as this permanent ban on gillnets removes the only known threat to the vaquita.
“While the Mexican government has committed to developing new fishing gear and techniques to allow local fishermen to pursue legal and sustainable fishing activities, WWF stresses the need for local communities to have access to existing vaquita-safe gear immediately. Community support and engagement is absolutely fundamental to conservation efforts.
“Urgent coordinated action by the Mexican, US and Chinese governments is still needed to end the illegal trading of totoaba swim bladders which has driven gillnet use in the Upper Gulf of California in recent years. Without collective action, both the last remaining vaquitas and the outstanding biodiversity of their habitat remain at risk.”
A WWF statement responding to Mexico committing to critical measures to save the vaquita is available here