Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

3 Vaquitas Found Dead: The Most Endangered Marine Mammal in the World

Animals
3 Vaquitas Found Dead: The Most Endangered Marine Mammal in the World

By Captain Oona Layolle

It is high season for totoaba poaching. In response to the Asian black markets and their demand for the totoaba swim bladders, illegal fishermen, despite all our efforts in removing nets and working with the navy, are hitting the vaquita population hard. Asian countries need to take measures to curtail the import and demand for endangered species.

Dead vaquita. Photo credit: Carolina A Castro

We found a third dead vaquita on March 24 at 17h36, position 31º03.2513 N - 114º49.0371 W. The beaches of San Felipe are littered with hundreds of dead totoabas with only their swim bladders removed. On March 27, we retrieved a net with 15 dead totoabas in it. Poaching activity continues to increase.

Finding three vaquitas in three weeks is finding one dead vaquita per week. If we look at the rate the vaquita population has been killed, and the intensity of illegal activity at night, there are very likely fewer than 30 vaquita left. If we continue losing the vaquita at this rate it will be extinct by this December.

Dead totoabas. Photo credit: Carolina A Castro

There is still hope for the vaquita though. Other species have been brought to the brink of extinction and bounced back with the right interventions. The sea lions in the Sea of Cortez, the right whale around New Zealand and the California Condor are just a few examples of these species.

The gillnet ban and all the efforts that have been in place need to continue stronger than ever. As long as we continue our efforts to protect the vaquita marina, there is hope. Giving up is not an option.

Watch here:

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Car Engine Cover, Fishing Net and Plastic Bucket Found in Stomachs of Dead Sperm Whales

Japan Kills 333 Minke Whales Including 200 Pregnant Females

Photo Ark: One Man's Journey to Save the World's Most Endangered Species

Great Bear Landmark Agreement Protects World's Largest Temperate Rainforest

Hospital workers evacuate patients from the Feather River Hospital during the Camp Fire on Nov. 8, 2018 in Paradise, California. People in 128 countries have experienced an increased exposure to wildfires, a new Lancet report finds. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

The climate crisis already has a death toll, and it will get worse if we don't act to reduce emissions.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Workers harvest asparagus in a field by the Niederaussem lignite coal power plant in Cologne, Germany. Greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning are reaching new highs. Henning Kaiser / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Stuart Braun

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed the dire threat of climate change Wednesday in a speech on the state of the planet delivered at Columbia University in New York.

Read More Show Less

Trending

The miserable ones: Young broiler chickens at a feeder. The poor treatment of the chickens within its supply chain has made Tyson the target of public campaigns urging the company to make meaningful changes. U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr

By David Coman-Hidy

The actions of the U.S. meat industry throughout the pandemic have brought to light the true corruption and waste that are inherent within our food system. Despite a new wave of rising COVID-19 cases, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently submitted a proposal to further increase "the maximum slaughter line speed by 25 percent," which was already far too fast and highly dangerous. It has been made evident that the industry will exploit its workers and animals all to boost its profit.

Read More Show Less
Altamira, state of Para, north of Brazil on Sept. 1, 2019. Amazon rainforest destruction surged between August 2019 and July 2020, Brazil's space agency reported. Gustavo Basso / NurPhoto via Getty Images

According to Brazil's space agency (Inpe), deforestation in the Amazon rainforest has surged to its highest level since 2008, the BBC reported.

Read More Show Less
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaks during a press briefing at United Nations Headquarters on February 4, 2020 in New York City. Angela Weiss / AFP / Getty Images

By Kenny Stancil

"The state of the planet is broken. Humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal."

That's how United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres began a Wednesday address at Columbia University, in which he reflected on the past 11 months of extreme weather and challenged world leaders to use the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic as an opportunity to construct a better world free from destructive greenhouse gas emissions.

Read More Show Less