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U.S. Consumers, Seafood Companies Urged to Boycott Mexican Shrimp to Save Vaquita Porpoise

Campaign Highlights Need for Mexico to Take Emergency Action

BOSTON—Conservation organizations today announced a boycott of all shrimp from Mexico to pressure Mexican officials to save the endangered vaquita, the world’s smallest porpoise, from imminent extinction. The campaign launched three days before the opening in Boston of Seafood Expo North America, one of the world’s largest annual seafood industry trade shows — and comes just days after the discovery of a dead vaquita calf.

Only about 30 individual vaquitas are left in Mexico’s northern Gulf of California, and if Mexico does not act quickly, experts believe the vaquita will go extinct within three years. To save the species, the organizations behind the boycott — including the Animal Welfare Institute, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Natural Resources Defense Council, along with more than 45 conservation groups that have signed on — are urging Mexican officials to permanently ban all gillnet fishing, remove illegal nets from the water and increase enforcement efforts.

“Mexican fisheries agencies have known how to save the vaquita for years, but they’ve failed to take the necessary actions, protecting industry profits rather than this critically endangered species,” said Kate O’Connell, marine wildlife consultant at the Animal Welfare Institute. “By supporting the Mexican shrimp boycott, consumers and seafood companies can send a clear signal to these agencies that enough is enough, and a permanent gillnet ban must be immediately established and fully enforced.”

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Learn about our work to save vaquitas.

Contact: Sarah Uhlemann

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Media Contacts:
Mike Stark, Communications Director
mstark@biologicaldiversity.org, (520) 623-5252, ext. 315

Jessica Herrera, Media Specialist – Population and Sustainability
jherrera@biologicaldiversity.org, (520) 260-1725

Steve Jones, Media Specialist – Oceans
sjones@biologicaldiversity.org, (415) 305-3866

Jim Cronin, Media Specialist – Endangered Species
jcronin@biologicaldiversity.org, (503) 283.5474 ext. 411

Andy Parker, Media Specialist – Environmental Health
aparker@biologicaldiversity.org, (503) 310-5569

Patrick Sullivan, Media Specialist – Climate Change, Fracking
psullivan@biologicaldiversity.org, (415) 632-5316

Russ McSpadden, Communications Associate – Media Photos
rmcspadden@biologicaldiversity.org

Banner photo Center for Biological Diversity; vaquita photo by Paul Olsen, NOAA