Another marine mammal appears on the brink of extinction, the Vaquita. This tiny (1.5 m) charismatic porpoise is endemic to the north-western corner of the Gulf of California, Mexico. It is estimated that there are less than 600 left in the wild. Who’s to blame? Recent research published in Mammal Review points the finger at “mortality in fishing gear” or “bycatch”. Basically, the Vaquitas population is being depleted by entanglement and mortality in gillnets set for fish and shrimp.
L. Rojas-Bracho, R. R. Reeves and A. Jaramillo-Legorreta (2006). Conservation of the vaquita Phocoena sinus. Mammal Review, Vol. 36 Issue 3, pg 179.
Small, Smaller, Smallest: The Plight Of The Vaquita (ScienceDaily, Dec 11, 2006)
Vaquita fact sheet