Frozen Specimen of the ‘Vaquita Marina’ Being Brought To Puerto Peñasco

Specimen to be shown to skeptical fishing community to prove the species still breeding and endangered

By Ivan Bravo Lopez
Issue #450

After confirming that the Vaquita Marina (‘sea cow’) does exist and that it is being monitored in the Alto Golfo, the authorities at PROFEPA revealed that they will continue to provide support and resources to the Vigilance Committee in Puerto Peñasco, with the goal of protecting the endangered species from extinction. Lazaro Espinoza Mendivil, the President of the Vigilance Committee, indicated that the Vaquita Marina still exists and that reports of its extinction are false. There are two vessels in “El Piedron” that are monitoring and taking care of the species.

“Our committee consists of nine agents, we are all fishermen that have been commissioned to monitor and make sure that no one fishes in the Vaquita Marina’s habitat.”

He recognizes that the fishing community thought the Vaquita Marina was extinct for years – but despite the skeptics, there are still 150 specimens in their natural habitat of the Alto Golfo.

“The fishing community does not want to believe that this species exists. Federal authorities from PROFEPA are monitoring 150 specimens of the sea cow in the Alto Golfo. Fishermen only see what they fish, in other words, if they catch shrimp, they always see shrimp, if they mostly fish, all they see is fish. We need to keep up the vigilance of the Vaquita Marina – we want to make sure that it keeps on reproducing.”

He also mentioned that they have a frozen specimen of a Vaquita Marina and that the PROFEPA authorities will bring it to the port to end speculations of its alleged extinction.

“We have a frozen specimen of the Vaquita Marina, and the authorities of the PROFEPA made an agreement with the Vigilance Committee to bring the specimen to Puerto Peñasco and put it on display for the fishing community to observe. There are many fishermen that have never even seen the Vaquita Marina. Even though they have been fishing all their lives, they have never seen one,” said Lazaro Espinoza.

The President of the Vigilance Committee mentioned that the natural habitat of the Vaquita Marina ranges from the Alto Golfo of California, including Puerto Peñasco, the Golfo de Santa Clara, and San Felipe. Authorities from PROFEPA allocate resources for the purchase of gasoline and food for the vigilance of the designated area. They enforce the designated boundaries so that fishing vessels do not enter them. Lastly, Espinoza Mendivil said that the main reason for the disappearance of this species is their accidental capture by dragging nets in the buffer zones, as well as changes to their overall habitat.

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