THE BAJA POST
The destruction of more than 4,700 meters (Over 15 thousand feet) of “totoabera” gillnet and a boat that had been seized in an unfdisclosed area of the Upper Gulf of California , was announced by the Secretary of the Navy, which continues with monitoring, inspection and surveillance in the Upper Gulf, to safeguard the vaquita marina, reported the SEMARNAT in a press release.
It is a joint effort, in accordance with the current collaboration agreement with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an organization that monitors the refuge area of the vaquita to detect illegal fishing gear in which this marine mammal, endemiic of the Upper Gulf, is trapped and killed.
Due to several surveillance and tactical actions, such as the installation of concrete blocks, presence of boats and gillnet in the Zero Tolerance Zone has decreased, explained María Luisa Albores González, head of SEMARNAT (Federal Department of Environment).
After a meeting between SEMARNAT, the Navy Secretary (SEMAR) and Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER), Ms. Albores, who chaired the meeting, said they reviewed environmental security and fishing efforts for the protection of the Upper Gulf, mainly aiming to save the Vaquita Marina, which is near extinction.
The reptresentative of SADER, which also includes fishery activities in its federal jurisdiction, said that they continue working on a transition program, going from traditional fishing gear to alternatives, in order to guarantee that fishery activities are carried out without affecting endangered species.
The SADER program is about fostering awareness and advising fishing communities about new technologies, equipment and methods to be used in order to achieve a sustainable fishery that won´t harm the environment, with a pecial effort on “seek and destroy” missions looking for gillnet.
During the session, SEMARNAT, SEMAR and SADER representatives, agreed to work in accordance to the times set on the agenda and in a coordinated manner, to fulfill the entrusted tasks of protecting the vaquita and seeking sustainable development in the region.