Saving the Gulf of California harbor porpoise

Working together to save the smallest porpoises -Two thumbs up! – Mother Nature
For months now  Mexico, the United States and Canada are have been working up plans to protect the Vaquita marina, a highly endangered species of small porpoise in the upper Gulf of California.
Researchers are studying the rare animal and working to convince fishermen in Gulf communities to abandon fine-mesh gill nets and other techniques that threaten the species.
A U.S. research ship has begun setting out a network of acoustic monitoring devices in the Gulf of California to determine the number and location of surviving vaquitas. The vaquita, Phocoena sinus, is found only in the northern area of the Gulf of California in coastal, shallow water. Vaquitas are the only porpoise species found in such warm waters. The vaquita, They feed on bony fishes and squid found near the surface of the water.

The North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation, which is helping coordinate the effort, said only about 150 of the elusive vaquitas remain in the wild, and as many as 40 are killed each year by fishing nets.

“Unless concrete conservation actions are taken, the effective size of the population … may fall to just 50 adults in the next two years,” the commission said in a statement.

The plan calls on the United States and Canada to encourage investment in fishing communities to create other jobs for residents so they can eliminate the fishing risks.
The vaquita is listed as critically endangered.

Mexico, US, Canada to protect endangered porpoise –  MARK STEVENSON, AP

October 28, 2008 mexico_endangered_porpoise;
Image courtesy of WWF and
Phocoena sinus, Vaquita –  October 28, 2008,



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