The real war unfolded along the coast of Mexico in the Gulf of California, the cause of which was the illegal fishing of endangered species of fish and animals.
Chinese mafia, Mexican cartels and ordinary poachers staged a bloody brawl for the opportunity to catch totoaba – one of the rarest and largest fish, which can be found only in this region.
How did the Chinese mafia get involved? It’s simple: totoaba, or rather its swimming bubble is considered a delicacy for Chinese consumers, as they believe that this fish has healing properties. Since such a product has a significant demand, the Chinese mafia seeks to ensure the availability of supply on the black market. That is why the Chinese can be found in the sea, which is thousands of kilometers from their homeland.
The number of this species of fish has been significantly reduced due to human intervention. Now totoaba is endangered and, literally, in the next couple of decades, the world will not find any living species of this species.
Nature defender Andrea Crosta explained that the value of totoaba depends on its age – the older the fish, the more expensive it is. He also noted that for some individuals wishing to give more than 100 thousand dollars.
How does illegal fishing happen? Those who seek to catch this fish, using Gill nets length of about 1.5 kilometers. However, this network claim the lives of many other animals, especially those who are not able to breathe under water.
Krosta said that he saw how the network affects not only totoaba, but other fish, turtles and birds. The nets pose a deadly threat to the vaquita, a rare California porpoise that is the smallest marine mammal in the world. Already now this species is almost extinct: in the world there are only less than 15 living individuals.
What kind of bloody fights take place in the Gulf of California? As mentioned, there are various illegal groups in the region, including local cartels, poachers and members of the Chinese mafia. They regularly attack each other, often brutally cracking down on competitors. For example, recently the fishermen’s ship was burned with Molotov cocktails, and a whole team of poachers disappeared an hour after going to sea.
Dr. Cynthia Smith, who heads a group of scientists trying to restore the number of vaquita, calls on all concerned to disseminate information about the events in the Gulf of California.