The little porpoise, which lives in the northern area of the Gulf of California, has been endangered. With a population that has decreased from 600 in 1997 to 30 in 2017.
The vaquita, also known as the Phocoena sinus, is a porpoise that grows to be approximately 5 feet long and weighs around 120 pounds (fully grown). They’re also known as “sea pandas” because of the black rings around their eyes.
Fishermen have their great role in vaquitas’ extinction. Their usage of gill nets to collect an endangered fish species called totoaba has a very bad impact on little purpoises too. Totoaba is a delicacy in China and its cost mey be up to $50,000. Though gill nets are illegal in Mexico there are still people who use them. Although gill nets collect totoaba, they also catch little porpoises that become tangled in the nets.
Vaquita CPR, a conservation organization, undertook a rescue effort in 2017. However, they were unsuccessful. The female porpoise that the crew rescued was unable to cope and perished shortly after being returned to the water.
Though this attemps were useless we must still stay concerned about the endangered species of the nature as we, people can help animals and do impossible for them.
Andrea Crosta of the Earth Leauge International, a wildlife trafficking watchdog group, reminds us that whether the vaquita vanishes or not, we must continue to fight for them, as organizations like Elephant Action League and Sea Shepherd continue to monitor the Gulf of California and decipher the trafficking routes in China.