The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has announced that it will ban imports of Mexican shrimp and other seafood caught in the habitat of the critically endangered vaquita porpoise.
The action is being taken under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), which requires the U.S. government to prohibit the import of seafood caught using fishing gear that kills marine mammals in excess of United States standards.
The import ban places pressure on the Mexican government to stop the use of gillnets that are entangling vaquitas. Vaquita numbers plunged from around 560 animals in the 1990s to only about 10 today due to entanglements in gillnets set to catch shrimp and various species of fish. Read on.