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Years go by without there being a definitive solution for the protection of the vaquita or to stop the illegal fishing of totoaba.
While in the Upper Gulf of California, where the coasts of Sonora and Baja California meet the Sea of Cortez, hundreds of fishermen suffer from Cain’s because of the obstacles imposed on regional fishing.
Since April 2015, when the use of fishing nets was forbidden to the fishermen of the Gulf of Santa Clara and the surrounding area, they live in social and economic uncertainty.
In the government of Peña Nieto, an economic support plan was carried out for sea workers who temporarily served to alleviate the lack of income due to the capture of shrimp, curvina, among other species.
But it was not enough to cover the needs of the inhabitants and it was not able to put a stop to the furtive fishing that is finally the cause of the evils in the Upper Gulf, considered an unequaled ecological zone in the world.
In the style of the previous regime, impulsive and reactive measures were taken to gain an international image, but very little was done to impose order, especially in the looting of the totoaba that yields impressive profits due to the high value that its crop reaches among Asian consumers. .
On the vaquita marina it seems that the efforts have come very late because there are only about ten specimens scattered in the Sea of Cortez.
Attempts were made to create sanctuaries or marine farms to promote the reproduction of the valued species in extinction, but unfortunately they were a resounding failure.
Officials of the López Obrador government visited the maritime region in the past, faced with the danger that the United States will impose a fishing embargo on all of Mexico if the vaquita marina is not guaranteed protection.
Known are Donald Trump’s wishes and desires , nothing difficult will happen and take advantage of the mistakes made in ecological matters to annoy Mexico more.
It will be on Monday May 27 when the Upper Gulf of California receives a mission from the Cites (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) that will verify the actions carried out by the Mexican government to protect the vaquita marina and to prevent illegal fishing of totoaba.
Neither slow nor lazy and before the latent threat, officials of Semarnat visited last week the town of San Felipe, in Baja California, to define with the leaders of fishing cooperatives new plans of action.
They did not get very far, in fact Carlos Tirado, one of the leaders of cooperatives, acknowledged that the outlook is complex because the government is under pressure to take ecological measures that affect fishermen at the same time.
Since last February, the federal government has withdrawn compensation payments to sea producers, forcing hundreds of pangas to go to sea to catch fish without the corresponding federal permits.
The United States, for its part, disagrees with the recent programs of the Mexican government regarding the Sustainability Initiative launched by Semarnat.
The US Department of Commerce said that “it is not a regulatory program to manage fisheries, conserve the vaquita, or stop the illegal capture of totoaba fish.”
The worst was that the declaration was made before a judge of the United States Court of International Trade in order to maintain the fishing embargo against the Gulf of California, imposed in August 2018.
We will see if the AMLO government has time and talent to present a serious and responsible proposal that benefits the riverine communities and at the same time serves to defend the existence of the vaquita marina.
Convincing international organizations will not be easy.
What a mess for Mexico that could cause a fishing embargo at the national level by the Yankee neighbors.