The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
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.
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.
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.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
It's become a familiar story with the Trump administration: Scientists write a report that shows the administration's policies will cause environmental damage, then the administration buries the report and fires the scientists.
By Jake Johnson
Calling the global climate crisis both the greatest threat facing the U.S. and the greatest opportunity for transformative change, Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled today a comprehensive Green New Deal proposal that would transition the U.S. economy to 100 percent renewable energy and create 20 million well-paying union jobs over a decade.
The Parties to CITES agreed to list giraffes on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) today at the World Wildlife Conference or CoP18 in Geneva. Such protections will ensure that all giraffe parts trade were legally acquired and not sourced from the poached giraffes trade and will require countries to make non-detriment findings before allowing giraffe exports. The listing will also enable the collection of international trade data for giraffes that might justify greater protections at both CITES and other venues in the future.
The WHO stressed that more research is needed on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion. luchschen / iStock / Getty Images Plus
The UN's health agency on Thursday said that microplastics contained in drinking water posed a "low" risk at their current levels.
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) — in its first report on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion — also stressed more research was needed to reassure consumers.