Focusing on illegal trade could help protect world’s most endangered marine mammal
By Bob Berwyn
In a hopeful sign for the critically endangered vaquita, Mexican environmental and law enforcement officials have indicated they’ll work more closely with conservation groups to track illegal fishing in the upper Gulf of California, and try to stop the trade of illegal fish in the region.
Failure to protect loggerhead sea turtles could lead to seafood sanctions
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Mexico isn’t doing enough to protect sea turtles, U.S. officials said last week, issuing a formal warning that could ultimately lead to a ban on seafood imports from Mexico.
At issue are endangered North Pacific loggerhead sea turtles in the Gulf of Ulloa. Mexico earlier this year adopted new regulations aimed at protecting the sea turtles with a fishery reserve, a mortality limit and fishing gear restrictions.
Lack of enforcement seen as stumbling block to recovery
FRISCO — Mexico has launched a last-ditch effort to protect the critically endangered vaquita porpoise by banning the use of gillnets in the northern Gulf of California. Conservation advocates said the ban is a step in the right direction, but expressed concern that Mexico won’t follow through with enforcement.
Vaquitas, the smallest members of the porpoise family, live only in the northern Gulf of California, generally in the vicinity of the Colorado River delta. The species has been on the Endangered Species List since 1985. Scientists say less than 100 individuals remain. Vaquitas could be extinct by 2018 without drastic conservation and recovery actions.
Temporary treaty amendment includes innovative water banking
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — A landmark water agreement between the U.S. and Mexico on Colorado River flows is winning acclaim as a true win-win — a rarity in an era of perpetual water shortages and rising concerns over allocation of the Southwest’s great river.
But even though the deal is getting good reviews, it’s important to remember that the Colorado River is not healthy.
Massive diversions and storage projects have choked off native flows that helped maintain riparian habitat. Those same projects have pushed four native fish species to the brink of extinction. The agreement will help resolve some long-standing issues in the lower Colorado Basin, but doesn’t do anything to alleviate the extreme pressure on the river’s upper reaches. Continue reading “Mexico – U.S. deal a hopeful sign for the Colorado River”→
Major Pacific storm with winds of 120 mph expected to weaken before reaching Baja coast
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — One of the strongest hurricanes of the year has formed in the eastern Pacific and could affect the weather in the southwestern U.S. late in the week, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Hurricane Miriam, southwest of the Baja Peninsula, is generating sustained winds of 120 mph and could strengthen a bit more in the next couple of days before weakening as it encounters strong winds from the west.
The storm is forecast to track northward, and even northeastward, which would put the system on track for a landfall along the Baja coast next weekend or early next week, potentially with tropical storm force winds.
Miriam’s outflow is already streaming over the southern tip of Baja. No coastal watches or warning have been issued for the storm, but the system will likely soon pump up the surf along the Baja Coast.