Mexican Fishermen Burn Boat, Demand Environmentalists Out

3/27/2017 New York Times

Vaquita4_Olson_NOAAMEXICO CITY — Dozens of fishermen have burned a boat as part of a threat to force out a ship operated by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in Mexico’s Gulf of California.

Sea Shepherd has been removing illegal and abandoned nets that endanger the vaquita, the world’s smallest porpoise. Illegal fishing for the totoaba, another species, has reduced the number of vaquitas to fewer than 30.

Fishermen in the town of San Felipe painted the name of the Sea Shepherd on an empty, open fishing boat they burned Sunday. They threatened to remove the conservationists’ ship themselves if the government doesn’t.

“Just as they are judging us fishermen, we will judge all the environmentalists,” said Sunshine Rodriguez, a leader of the local fishing cooperative in San Felipe, Baja California. “We aren’t going to just sit around.”

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