Mexico was sanctioned on Monday for not doing enough to protect the Pacific porpoise, the world's most endangered marine mammal, and is being barred from exporting wild plants and animals listed under the Washington CITES convention.
The decision was taken Monday by the secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), signed by 184 countries, because Mexico has not presented an adequate plan for fight against illegal fishing of totoaba macdonaldi fish.
Collateral victim of fishing
The Pacific porpoise, nicknamed vaquita in Mexico, is a collateral victim of the Cotabato fishery, itself an endangered species, whose "bladder-fin"
for up to 8000 dollars per kilo in China because of its supposed medicinal properties.
Since Mexico has not met the Secretariat's requirements, the latter "
recommends the suspension of trade
" with Mexico in all CITES-listed species, the decision reads.
This recommendation will remain in effect until the Secretariat has deemed a revised version of the action plan to be adequate and has published a notification in this regard
”, specifies the text.
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According to several conservation organizations, the sanctions announced on Monday relate to "
millions of dollars in exports
Nearly 3,150 Mexican animals and plants are listed under CITES, and many of these species are exported.
These include lucrative products such as crocodile leather, mahogany, tarantulas, pet reptiles, cacti and other plants,”
a joint statement from several organizations (Center for Biological Diversity, Animal Welfare Institute, Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Investigation Agency).
According to these NGOs, there are only 10 Pacific porpoises left.
They would be about twenty according to the Sea Shepherd organization.
While nobody likes economically painful sanctions, all other efforts to push Mexico to save the vaquita have failed
," said Sarah Uhlemann, international program director at the Center for Biological Diversity.
The strongest measures possible are needed to wake up the Mexican government and urge it to finally save this tiny porpoise from extinction
," she said.