Target: Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada, Mexican Secretary of the Environment
Goal: Urge Mexico to increase enforcement of protections for Great White Sharks in the Gulf of California
Great white sharks are being increasingly targeted by poachers in the Gulf of California. The sharks are prized for their jaws and fins. Great whites are considered a vulnerable species worldwide and are officially a protected species in Mexico. However, enforcement of these protections is very limited within the Gulf of California. We must remind the government of Mexico of the vulnerable status of these unique sharks and encourage them to better enforce the laws which already exist to protect them from illegal fishing.
The Gulf of California is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Due to its rich ecosystem, it has been described by Jacques Cousteau as “the aquarium of the world”. Unfortunately, there is a large commercial fishery in the gulf that has contributed to significant overfishing. This has driven some commercial fishermen to illegally target great white sharks. A single set of jaws from this great predator can fetch a price of $1,500. Much of the fishing is alleged to occur near Isla Ildefonso, about 40 miles north of the city of Loreto.
The Gulf of Mexico serves as an important nursery for great whites. They are protected from fishing by Mexican law. It is important that these laws are enforced so that we may stop unscrupulous fisherman from exploiting them. Tourism is a very important industry for Mexico, and an outcry from people in the United States and other countries that contribute to this tourism may help to convince the Mexican government to take actions to better protect great white sharks. Please take action to protect this magnificent species.
Dear Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada, Mexican Secretary of the Environment:
Illegal poaching of great white sharks in the Gulf of California has been on the rise in recent years. This species is protected from fishing under Mexican law. However, it seems that some unscrupulous fisherman are flouting these laws to make a quick profit. I encourage you take action to ensure better enforcement of the current protections for these sharks.
Great white sharks are a unique species that has been declining in numbers throughout the world. The Gulf of California in Mexico serves as an important nursery for this species. It is important that your country’s existing laws which protect these fish be enforced. This will uphold the will of the Mexican people, and help to protect great white sharks for future generations of Mexicans.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Brocken Inaglory via Wikimedia Commons