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Court orders seafood import ban to save vaquita

by Maritime Executive 10 Aug 15:23 UTC
Court orders seafood import ban to save vaquita © Maritime Executive

Responding to a lawsuit filed by conservation groups, the U.S. Court of International Trade has ordered the U.S. Government to ban seafood imports from Mexico caught with gillnets that kill the critically endangered vaquita porpoise.

As few as 15 vaquita remain, and almost half the population drowns in fishing gillnets each year. Without immediate additional protection, the porpoise could be extinct by 2021.

This is the life line the vaquita desperately needs, said Giulia Good Stefani, staff attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, who argued the case before the Court.

The ruling follows a lawsuit filed in March by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Animal Welfare Institute and the Center for Biological Diversity, and it affirms Congress' mandate under the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act that the United States protect not just domestic marine mammals, but also foreign whales, dolphins, and porpoises.

Read the full article here.

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