Vaquita porpoises are an Endangered Species. Their habitat is in the gulf of california in Mexico. However, their numbers have dropped drastically because of entanglement in fishing nets. Researchers made an effort to establish their numbers and concluded that the decline was appreciable compared to figures of 2011 when monitoring started. The figures reveal a disturbing situation because the loss is due to humans.

The Guardian quotes Prof Len Thomas who is involved in the study. He says, “Based on the uncertainty inherent in the models, the number could be as few as six.” The vaquita porpoise falls in the category of critically endangered species. They usually entangle in gillnets. The design of the mesh ensures that fish of a certain size gets caught. However, many other marine animals also fall victims and one of these are the porpoises.

Immediate action necessary to save the vaquita porpoise

The Mexican government banned gillnets in 2015. In spite of that, there is no letup in illegal fishing using this equipment and dead vaquita porpoises were found since the enforcement of the ban. Gillnets are used to catch Totoaba, a type of fish.

One of its organs is the swim bladder. The Chinese use it in traditional medicine. The only way to reverse the trend and save the species is to impose a ban on fishing of this type in the area.

The Guardian adds that Prof Len Thomas suggests a way out.

The government of Mexico could play an important role. It could crackdown on illegal fishing nets in the Gulf of California. Eva Hidalgo of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society adds, “The important takeaway is that they’re still out there.” It is our duty to ensure that animals do not perish from the scene. We have lost many species over the ages due to various reasons and humanity is becoming more aware of trying to preserve those that remain. It might be a difficult task but certainly not impossible.

They are the world's smallest porpoise

According to Sky News, the length of the vaquita porpoise is 4-5 feet and they weigh around 120 pounds. They are the world's smallest porpoise and could be declared extinct any day. It was in 1958 they were discovered, and within this short span have entered the portals of the critically endangered species. This classification is by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

They live in a small area within the Gulf of California and the declining numbers are because of accidental entanglement in illegal gillnets. Anglers use these nets to catch Totoaba fish, another species that is dwindling in numbers. Their bladders fetch prices of nearly $80,000 per kilogram in China. It is a delicacy there. In 2016, ex-US president Barack Obama and former Mexican leader Enrique Pena Nieto took steps to protect the animals. However, much more needs to be done to save them from extinction.

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