Cancun, Q.R. – More than four million peso will be used over the next two years to recover the natural habitat to help save the vaquita.
The Mexican Association of Habitats for the Interaction and Protection of Marine Mammals together with the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (Conabio) will inject resources for the protection of the Vaquita, which is in grave danger of extinction.
Rodrigo Constandse Córdova of Conabio says, “The work will be done over two years, covering a first phase and over time securing its habitat. To achieve this, it is necessary to ensure that illegal fishing and gill nets are already contained, which is what is putting the species at threat.”
The first phase of the rehabilitation will start in October when the mammals begin to appear in the region. Officials will evaluate how the Vaquita react under human care where they will be in a contained area in the sea referred to as Habitat at Sea. This, Constandse Córdova explains, will depend on how they adapt to being confined to a limited area.
International foundations are also involved in supporting the rescue of the Vaquita. The main reason for the rapid decline in population is due to gill nets. In 2015, the Mexican government banned fishing in the upper Gulf of California and provided a compensation program to affected fisherman.
Surveillance and inspections will also be increased by the Navy Armada de México, the Environmental Gendarmerie and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (PROFEPA).
It is estimated that there are less than 50 Vaquita left in the wild.