The Catch In partnership with the Walton Family Foundation

Part 1: The Aquarium of the World



An ecological wonder is under threat due to illegal gillnet fishing.

In Part 1 of our new season of The Catch, host Ruxandra Guidi along with co-reporter Ernesto Méndez and marine biologist Alex Olivera travel to the Upper Gulf of California to meet with local experts and shrimp fishers. The underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau once deemed this area “The Aquarium of the World” because it was so rich in biodiversity. But unfortunately much of this ecological wonder is under threat due to illegal gillnet fishing. At the center of everything is a small porpoise called the vaquita, whose numbers have dwindled to less than a dozen.

In this episode, Guidi speaks to local fishers and hears from environmentalist Rick Brusca as well as former NOAA Fisheries official Barbara Taylor. They discuss how the highly desirable blue shrimp endemic to the Gulf of California has been tied up in conservation efforts to protect the vaquita.

Listen to The Catch in Spanish here.

About The Catch:  Coming up on this season of The Catch, we head to the Upper Gulf of California, to see what a porpoise, a fish whose bladder fetches tens of thousands of dollars on the black market, and the highly desirable—and delicious—colossal shrimp tell us about the complicated world of fishing. This spring, Foreign Policy is partnering with the Walton Family Foundation for season two of The Catch, hosted by Ruxandra Guidi. We'll hear how local fishermen are caught between providing for their families and protecting marine habitats. And how governments, importers, and consumers all have a role in returning balance to the Upper Gulf of California. Follow and listen to The Catch in Spanish and English wherever you get your podcasts. Listen to The Catch in Spanish here.  See All Episodes


More The Catch episodes:

Part 6: The Future

How fishers are working toward more sustainable practices.

Part 5: Pressure Points

Learn what importers and consumers can do to improve sustainability.

Part 4: The Cartel of the Sea

And how the weak response from the Mexican government is impacting local fishers.

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