Conservation groups deployed a new boat on Thursday in an effort to save the vaquita, one of the most unique marine specimens in the world, threatened by the Illegal fishing in the Gulf of Californiain northwestern Mexico.
The “Seahorse”in navy blue and white, arrives at a “critical moment” for this endemic species of Mexico and which has among its main defenders the American actor Leonardo Di Caprio, according to the Sea Shepherd organization.
The ship joined the “Operation Miracle”undertaken by these conservationists and the Mexican Navy Navy. In 2022, illegal fishing, the main threat to the vaquita, was reduced by more than 70%, the organization added.
“This is encouraging news, but we must always do better,” said Pritam Singh, director of Sea Shepherd, who led the media and authorities on a tour of the area, escorted by Mexican military ships.
The Seahorse participates in surveillance tasks in the area to prevent illegal fishing and will serve above all as a platform to facilitate the 24 hour drone operation of the day
Also called “the sea panda” because of the dark spots that surround its eyes, this species has been decimated by the illegal fishing of the totoaba, also threatened with extinction.
The bladder of the totoaba is trafficked to China, where according to Mexican authorities it can cost around 8,000 dollars for its supposed medicinal qualities.
Vaquita defenders have been involved in numerous violent incidents with fishermen when, together with Mexican authorities, they seize illegal nets.
The vaquita, the smallest porpoise on the planet, has been classified as critically endangered by the Union for Conservation of Nature since 1996.
Shy in character, this specimen barely raises its head above the sea, which makes it difficult to count the specimens.
Fewer than 20 vaquitas are estimated to remain in the California sea, the only place in the world where they have been identified, according to Sea Shepherd.
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