MEXICO CITY – Mexico hopes fish farming can help weaken the illegal market for the totoaba fish and help save the critically endangered vaquita porpoise, of which less than 30 survive.
Poachers in Mexico have long caught vaquitas in nets set for totoaba, which is itself an endangered species. Totoaba swim bladders are a prized delicacy in China.
Mexico's environment department said Friday it plans to invest in three fish farms to raise 300,000 juvenile totoaba to "control the illegal trafficking" of the species.
At least one company currently raises Totoaba from hatchlings in the Gulf of California, also known as the Sea of Cortez, the only place both species are found.
Fishing for totoaba is prohibited in the Gulf of California, but the high prices traffickers pay make that hard to enforce.