For the first time in 32 years, Mexico entered the list of countries that have suspended international trade of species protected for their failure to protect the sea cow.
The international embargo imposed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITESfor its acronym in English) prevents Mexico from trading 3,148 species, 2,513 flora and 635 animals.
This trade suspension will remain in effect until the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) create an action plan that is adequate, since, despite the fact that Mexico created an action plan in February of this year, it was considered inadequate by CITES, since it lacked key elements such as clear application deadlinesachievement of plan stages, among others.
“For Mexico, CITES sanctions would represent an embargo of catastrophic proportions never seen before, both for trade and for our international image”, pointed out Ernesto Zazueta, from the Association of Zoos, Hatcheries and Aquariums of Mexico (AZCARM).
AZCARM pointed out how “shameful” the action plan presented by SEMARNAT on the protection of the vaquita, for which, through a statement, they call for “experts to develop a new action plan to reverse the CITES sanction”.
It further states that the penalty will affect hundreds of thousands of Mexican families that are dedicated to the trade of flora and fauna, coupled with the loss and degradation of the country’s biodiversity.
“We regret and it is very shameful that in such a delicate matter, dealing with one of the species most at risk of disappearing from the planet, once again the Mexican authorities have not resorted to experts in the field to save the vaquita porpoise and to prevent one of the worst embargoes recorded in the history of our country, and that will not only mean a tremendous blow to the conservation of our biodiversity but also to the economy of hundreds of thousands of families”, said Ernesto Zazueta.
Mexico is a country with great diversity, there is flora that only grows in Mexican lands and is used for luxury and beauty products. According to the AZCARM statement, there are entire communities in Coahuila and Guanajuato that are dedicated to the collection and commercialization of plants and species that under this embargo its commercialization will be prohibited.
AZCARM indicates that these sanctions will have medium and long term effectsTherefore, they call for the construction of an action plan as soon as possible to prevent the illegal fishing of the vaquita from destroying the species and to lift the trade embargo imposed by CITES that affects biodiversity and the Mexican economy.
A SEMARNAT delegation is now in Geneva to seek to reverse the determination, but the lifting of the embargo could take place until the November 2023 meeting of the CITES Standing Committee.
Thus, Mexico enters the list of countries with this type of embargo, along with Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya and Liberia.