We've been following the plight of the critically endangered vaquita porpoise closely and are sad to report that a mature female died from complications shortly after being captured by authorities in the Gulf of California. The joint initiative between the Mexican government and conservation organizations to save the world's smallest porpoise from extinction has not been successful thus far. The programs’ designers over at the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita (CIRVA) said, “The entire rescue team is disconsolate because of this devastating loss.”
With just around 30 individuals remaining in the wild, the vaquita porpoise is on the brink of extinction due to a high concentration of illegal gill nets put in place by fishermen looking for another critically endangered species—the totoaba. The totoaba’s swim bladder is a delicacy in Chinese cuisine and in some cases can earn fishermen as much as $50,000, although the norm is around $3,500. The gill nets, which entangle the porpoises, have led to the collapse of the species.
Authorities have also just announced that their efforts to capture the species are on hold as a result of the death.
Read more here.
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