Mexico allowed the extinction of the vaquita

The vaquita is on the verge of extinction thanks to the illegal totoaba market, as its swim bladder is thought to be an aphrodisiac

Mexico allowed the extinction of the vaquita
The sea cow is about to become extinct - Photo: File Photo/AP
English 07/03/2019 12:26 AP Mexico City Astrid Rivera Actualizada 12:31

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There are only 22 vaquitas left in the Gulf of California, the only place in the world inhabited by the smallest porpoise, which has been in danger of extinction for years and authorities have failed to save it.

Jorge Urbán, a researcher, said that they detected 22 vaquitas thanks to a network of acoustic monitors placed in the Sea of Cortés.

The numbers are larger than what it was expected. Some experts predicted there would only be between 12 and 15 vaquitas after hundreds of they have been murdered by fishermen.

Fishermen have constantly attacked Sea Shepherd, an environmental group that protects the vaquita as they remove the nets the fishermen use to fish totoaba, which is illegal, because the vaquitas are caught in them and die.

The vaquita is on the verge of extinction thanks to the illegal totoaba market, as its swim bladder is thought to be an aphrodisiac and it's sold in the Asian market for up to USD $60,000,

Jorge Urban Ramirez, a researcher from the Autonomous University of Baja California Sur (UABCS), explained that fewer than two dozen Gulf of California harbor porpoises were spotted in Mexico during the summer of 2018.
 

The researcher said the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita (CIRVA) "knows that they need to take action or the vaquita could be lost (go extinct) in the next few months or years of the current administration."

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