News China Prosecutes 11 For Totoaba Smuggling

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China prosecutes 11 for totoaba smuggling
15th May 2019

By Sandra Pearce

Authorities in China are prosecuting 11 people for smuggling $119m (£90m) worth of fish swimbladders from Mexico.

They are accused of bringing in 20,000 swim bladders from totoaba fish from the Gulf of California in Mexico and selling them in China.

They are used in traditional medicines in China and can fetch up to £15,000 on the black market. Many people believe it can cure ailments such as arthritis, reports the BBC.

The totoaba is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s critically endangered list.

Numbers of the vaquita marina porpoise, local to the Gulf of California, are also in decline with some becoming stuck in fishing nets targeting totoaba. The mammal is now classed as critically endangered.