Sightings of vaquita porpoises kindle hope for endangered species’ rescue

Good News Notes:

A group of scientists sighted at least nine vaquita marina porpoises in the upper Gulf of California in late 2021, leading the chairman of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) to declare that there is still hope for the critically endangered species.

During a five-day period in October and November, scientists on board the Sea Shepherd vessel Sharpie and another boat that belongs to the Whale Museum in La Paz sighted eight mature vaquitas and one or two calves in a 225-square-kilometer no-fishing zone known as the zero tolerance area (ZTA).

Vaquitas, the world’s smallest porpoise species, are endemic to the Gulf of California, where many have died after becoming entangled in nets set to catch totoaba, a fish whose swim bladder is a delicacy in China and sells for thousands of dollars per kilogram.”

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