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The threat is still the gillnet, but Leigh Henry’re now dealing with a whole new industry, instead of legal shrimp fishers, we’re now dealing with transnational organized crime and people working on the black market. In the last few years, the Mexican government has stepped up its efforts to curtail poaching in the Gulf of California – the body of water that separates the Baja Peninsula from the rest of Mexico – adding in June two small boats, a number of vehicles and 135 sailors to an enforcement force deployed in 2015 under the Upper Gulf of California Integrated Protection Program. The new support joined the 13 ships, five vehicles, a helicopter-carrying ship and a plane already deployed to combat illegal fishing in the region. The U.S., which is seen as the main transshipment country for the totoaba’s bladders, has also joined in the fight against traffickers. Last year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized 1,328 pounds of totoaba fish bladders that were in route to Hong Kong. While conservationists agree that the main battle to save the totoaba and vaquita is in Mexican water, they acknowledge that the demand for the bladders in China is the reason for the illegal trade and argued that officials in Beijing and Hong Kong need to crack down on the underground fish trade. ' WORLD'S SADDEST POLAR BEAR' MOVED AFTER OUTPOURING OF OUTRAGE TOWARDS CHINESE MALL The problem, experts argue, is that wildlife trafficking is so pervasive in the world’s most populous nation that authorities are stretched thin and forced to give priority to larger cases.

– Leigh Henry

Found on FOX News  4 years ago    Science

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