Science

Vaquita Porpoise Doomed To Extinction By Illegal Fishing

By Rodney Rafols , Dec 09, 2016 02:15 AM EST
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A number of animal species face danger because of man's activities. With development and progress, man has pushed the boundaries, which has costed much of the ecosystem. Now some species face elimination, such as the Vaquita porpoise doomed to extinction by illegal fishing.

Fishing has been the primary income generator for a number of communities for many years. There are some though who use illegal means to do it, which is affecting the ecosystem and driving some animals towards extinction. One of those marine mammals being driven to it is the Vaquita porpoise.

Fishing for totoaba began in the 1940s in Mexico. The fish has a bladder that is valuable in China. This has given way to overfishing of the fish. Now the fish is in danger of going extinct, and together with it the Vaquita porpoise as well because it is ending up as a by catch of totoaba fishing.

Mexico's government is doing some measures to protect the Vaquita porpoise, according to the NOAA Fisheries' site. One of those measures is to declare part of the Vaquita porpoise's habitat as a protected area for the marine mammal. This protected area has a two-year no-fishing ban. Fishermen and communities affected by this measure would be compensated at a cost of $74 million in total.

The Vaquita porpoise is in very critical danger of going extinct. Only 60 of the marine mammals are remaining, as Science Daily reports. Armando Jaramillo-Legorreta is lead author of the study and part of the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) in Mexico. He has decried that the species will soon end if illegal fishing continues.

Barbara Taylor, marine mammal biologist for NOAA Fisheries and co-author of the study said that long-term monitoring should be constant since the situation is urgent for the Vaquita porpoise. Having a protected area is good, though a number of Vaquita porpoises still get entangled in fishing nets and drown because of it.

With development and a growing human population, the price to the ecosystem is great. Many creatures are being endangered, one of which is the Vaquita porpoise which is doomed to extinction by illegal fishing. Pollution also endangers the ecosystem, especially with the rise of plastic use by people.

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