Smallest Porpoise Nearly Extinct — Conservationists Call on Permanent Ban of its Culprit

"fin" by Danny Chapman licensed under CC BY 2.0
fin” by Danny Chapman licensed under CC BY 2.0

Source: Huffington Post

The vaquita is considered the world’s most endangered marine mammal and it is about to go extinct — with only 60 left in the wild, according to the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita. The vaquita is the smallest of porpoises, measuring only five feet in length and primarily lives in the northern end of Mexico’s Gulf of California.

Since 1997, the population of vaquitas has sharply decreased by 92%, primarily as a result of illegal fishing of a rare fish called the totoaba, for which fishermen casts large dangerous nets. These ultimately trap and kill vaquitas in the process.

As a conservation effort, Mexico launched a temporary ban on gill nets two years ago and even invested $70M to compensate fishermen for lost profits of legal fishing. Despite these efforts, nearly 50 nets were discovered in the ocean and three vaquitas found dead.

Leading conservationists maintain that without serious efforts to protect vaquitas, the species of porpoise is estimated to be completely wiped out by 2022. Green organizations including WWF and Greenpeace have launched petitions asking the US, Mexico and China to combine their forces to put a stop on illegal fishing and to make the ban on gill nets permanent.

Read full story at: Huffington Post

Environment, News
Environment, News