Strong evidence of violations of vaquita Zero Tolerance Area (ZTA)

 

A new report reveals evidence that many pangas have continued to use the ZTA (mostly for gillnetting). Observations of this illegal activity were made both from the sea by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and from land by ZTA Watch. Pangas were present inside the ZTA on 88% of the days observed between October 2021 and May 2022 (120 of 147 days). According to the September 2020 regulation which established the ZTA, “fishing activities of any type” are prohibited within it. The Intergovernmental Group for Sustainability in the Upper Gulf of California established ‘trigger factors’, one of which is that when more than 65 pangas are observed to be present within the ZTA, the fishery must be closed. This trigger factor was exceeded on 5 days with no closure of the shrimp fishery or any other apparent enforcement actions.