Mexico’s vaquita porpoise gets new chance; 6 sighted

vaquita

Experts want to enclose a small area of the Gulf of California where the critically endangered vaquita porpoise remains after they sighted about a half dozen of the elusive creatures in September.

One was a mother with her second new calf in two years. Vaquitas usually only reproduce once every two years.

Some researchers want Mexico’s incoming government to enclose the area with floating barriers and station a Navy ship permanently in the middle to exclude illegal fishing nets that trap and drown vaquitas.

Armando Jaramillo of Mexico’s National Ecology Institute said Wednesday authorities should stop fishing boats from setting out from nearby shores.

The world’s smallest and most endangered porpoise may number as few as 15. Acoustic monitoring suggests they may have disappeared from much of their former range.

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