As we reported previously, the vaquita dolphin is in serious trouble and in danger of extinction. The porpoises, which live in the waters off of Mexico, often become entangled and die in fishing nets used to catch shrimp, totoaba, and other finned fish. Biologists estimate between only six and 20 vaquitas were left in 2018.
Now a group of U.S. environmental organizations have filed a lawsuit in the hopes of helping to save the remaining porpoises. The lawsuit was filed in a U.S. federal court December 14, 2022, in order to pressure the U.S. government to sanction Mexico for failing to protect the critically endangered vaquita*.
Stay tuned for updates.
*The lawsuit seeks to pressure the U.S. government to sanction Mexico under a fisheries law called the “Pelly Amendment” to the Fishermen’s Protective Act, which authorizes the U.S. President to embargo imports of wildlife products, including fish, from another country. Since 2014, the U.S. government has ignored requests by environmental groups to ban imports of Mexican seafood.