By BBN Staff: Mexico’s national fisheries commission permanently banned the use of night fishing and gillnets in the protected area of the gulf known as the Sea of Cortez.
The ban has become necessary to protect the endangered vaquita marina porpoise, the smallest porpoise, in the upper Gulf of California where only about 60 are reported to remain. The porpoise are primarily threatened by gillnets set up by fishermen fishing for the totoaba fish. As a result fishermen are required to leave and return from specially designated docks to help enforce the measures reports indicate.
Head of the Mexico office of the World Wildlife Fund Omar Vidal is quoted as saying that it is vital for the details of the ban to be explained. He also called for the banning of gillnets in the entire upper Gulf of California as the porpoise can stray from the protected area. He further emphasized the urgency for Mexican, US and Chinese governments to take “coordinated action to stop the illegal fishing, trafficking and consumption of totoaba products”.
Oceana has also championed the cause of banning gillnets here in Belize as well.