Conservation Groups Sue Department of the Interior to Force Sanctions Against Mexico for Failure to Protect Vaquita Porpoises

The Center for Biological Diversity, Animal Welfare Institute, and Natural Resources Defense Council sued the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) in the U.S. Court of International Trade to force sanctions against Mexico. The plaintiffs claim Mexico is allowing illegal fishing that has reduced the population of vaquita porpoises to only ten estimated remaining animals. According to the complaint, vaquita become entangled and drown in illegal nets set to catch totoaba, an endangered fish whose bladders are in high demand in China. The lawsuit demands that the DOI finally certify Mexico under the Pelly Amendment, which would allow the Biden administration to embargo wildlife products from Mexico.