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Endangered Species: Vaquita

The Vaquita

For my first endangered species blog, I chose the Vaquita. Some people don't know about this species of dolphin and that's because there is only as few as 30 left in the world. Vaquitas are the smallest porpoise in the world, and due to their size, they get caught in gill nets and are unable to get out. They live in the southern gulf of California and into Mexico. El Golfo de Santa Clara, one of the three major ports in which vaquitas live, indicated that gill net fishing causes about 39 vaquita deaths a year. According to Mexico, if gill nets are not completely gone by the end of 2018, Vaquitas could become permanently extinct.

In 2012, 200 vaquitas remained, but by 2014, CIRVA estimated that about half of them had been killed in gill nets, leaving fewer than 100 individuals. Of these, fewer than 25 were likely to be reproductively mature females. A report prepared by CIRVA in May, 2016 presented an even more dire estimate, finding only 60 vaquitas remaining. Currently in 2017, we have less than 30 remaining and the number continues to drop unless gill nets are banned. The coast uses these nets for fishing, but there is other methods that can be used. Poles, bait cages, and smaller nets are always an option aside from gill nets. The difference between regular nets and gill nets is the width of the holes and the net itself. Gill nets stretch a long distance, and the holes are obviously big enough for animals;other than small fish,to get through. These fishing methods are very dangerous and could possibly cause harm to any other species in its path.

To help Vaquitas, petitions have been created against gill nets and illegal fishing. Check out some of these sites and do your part in saving this amazing species!

#ocean #fish #vaquita #endangered #marine #biologist