Leonardo Dicaprio Not only has he stood out worldwide thanks to his performances in films such as “Titanic“Or”Django”, He also does it for being one of the main defenders of the vaquita marina in the world.
One of the main governments that has been criticized by the American actor has been the Mexican, because, until 2018, the preservation of this aquatic mammal had not been a concern for the country.
Back then, the president Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018) signed an agreement with DiCaprio to help save the life of the 30 copies that still remained, but with the passage of time it was forgotten and caused the death of more than 60% of them.
Today, three years later, in Mexico there are only 10 vaquitas marinas and therefore the interpreter of “Wolf of Wall Street”Sent a message of disappointment to the national authorities, who have contributed little to prevent the extinction of this species.
“The Vaquita marina is the most threatened marine mammal in the world. Nevertheless, the Mexican government has lifted the ban on fishing in their habitat, effectively ensuring that the 10 remaining porpoises will die in the gillnets, “he wrote on his Twitter account.
This message came just over 20 days after the Mexican government, led by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, officially end the policy of maintaining a fishing-free zone around the last surviving vaquitas.
The measure was announced last Wednesday, July 14 and replaces the “zero tolerance” fishing free zone in the Upper Gulf of California with a variable scale of sanctions in case of repeated registration sightings of more than 60 ships in the region.
Environmental experts noted that, in essence, the measure leaves the world’s most endangered marine mammal exposed to gillnets in which he gets trapped and drowns. The nets are placed for the capture of totoaba, a fish whose swim bladder is considered a delicacy in China, and sells for thousands of dollars a kilo.
Alex Olivera, the representative of Mexico in the Center for Biological Diversity, said the rules establish a sliding scale of responses to a situation that should not be allowed in the first place. For example, the Secretariat of Agriculture and Rural Development reported that it will use 60% of its security personnel if 20 fishing boats or less are observed in the restricted area.
“It is silly. They are expected to count vessels within a zone called zero tolerance, where no vessel is allowed (…) They are leaving dozens of vessels open, “said Olivera.
According to a report by the environmental journalism collective Naguales, In collaboration with Connectas, Mexican fishermen are forced by precarious work to work with the Dragon Cartel, assuming an important part of the risks without obtaining amounts of money as important as those perceived by the criminal organization.
The profits from the trafficking of this animal are comparable to those of the cocaine business. They reported that a kilo of totoaba “crop” can be worth $ 5,000 in Mexico and up to $ 60,000 once it reaches China.
The report also explains that Mexican authorities, such as the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA), have not been agile enough when taking measures to attack the Dragon Cartel. Even in front of threats by the United States to sanction Mexico’s fishing trade if its government does not stop the illegal hunting of these marine animals.
Due to this scenario, where Mexican authorities are also in collusion, DiCaprio’s complaints are supported, since a legitimate concern to protect the vaquita porpoise on the country’s coasts is distant.
* With information from AP.