World's tiniest porpoise close to extinction in Mexico, warn environmentalists!

Environmentalists from Mexico City have claimed that the population has dropped drastically despite the arrival of navy reinforcements in the upper Gulf of California in April 2015 to enforce a ban on fishing gillnets blamed for the vaquita's death.

Updated: May 14, 2016, 20:11 PM IST
World's tiniest porpoise close to extinction in Mexico, warn environmentalists!
Image for representational purpose only

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: This comes as a shocker for all the environment enthusiasts and professionals as the world's smallest porpoise, vaquita marina, is close to extinction.

Environmentalists from Mexico City have claimed that the population has dropped drastically despite the arrival of navy reinforcements in the upper Gulf of California in April 2015 to enforce a ban on fishing gillnets blamed for the vaquita's death.

The government has also confirmed the same as they claim that only 60 were found late last year.

The porpoise's population had already fallen to fewer than 100 in 2014, down from 200 in 2012, according to the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita (CIRVA), a global group of scientists.

Mexico's environment ministry said in a statement that a joint study with CIRVA between September and December estimated the latest population at "around 60."

"The vaquita is at the edge of extinction," the World Wildlife Fund said in a statement.

The vaquita's fate has been linked to another critically endangered sea creature, the totoaba, a fish that has been illegally caught for its swim bladder, which is dried and sold on the black market in China.

Poachers use illegal gillnets to catch the totoaba and vaquitas are believed to be the victims of bycatch.

(With AFP inputs)