Mexico’s latest plan to save endangered vaquitas could backfire

Hundreds of cement pillars with hooks have been deployed in the Gulf of California to snag fishing nets that threaten endangered porpoises, but these could also trap sea life and pollute the waters

Life 2 December 2022

Pair of vaquita sighted during 2008 survey in Gulf of California

A pair of vaquitas sighted during 2008 survey in Gulf of California

NOAA Fisheries

In a last-ditch attempt to save a critically endangered porpoise, Mexican officials began dropping weighted metal hooks in the Gulf of California in July. The goal is to snag illegal gill nets, thereby discouraging and thwarting the fishing practice that is largely responsible for winnowing the population of vaquitas to just eight individuals.

“With so few vaquitas remaining on the planet, we are not in a position to make any mistakes,” says Alex Olivera at the Center for …

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