The most endangered marine mammal is the vaquita, and there are less than 30 of these animals left on the planet. The time to help them is now and their populations are endangered because of people. These small porpoises are found only in the Gulf of California and are being killed by becoming entangled in gill nets used by fisherman. Fishermen unintentionally catch vaquita while fishing for the endangered fish the totoaba, which can bring in large money for the fish swim bladders. International trade for the totoaba has been banned by CITES, but there is still a lot of illegal trade as these swim bladders can sell for over $4000 per pound for fishermen. It is more important than ever that people be mindful of their trash and what is going into our oceans to not only help the vaquitas, but also other marine mammals that are being threatened by marine debris. The Mexican President has made huge commitments to help save the vaquitas, but illegal totoaba fishing as steadily increased and is a huge threat. Every person can make a difference to our oceans future, so by keeping debris out of our oceans we can help save the vaquitas who will be extinct by next year if things don’t change. The oceans are in trouble and we all have the power to make changes that will help clean up our oceans and protect marine life populations.
Written By: Stefanie Schmidt
Edited By: Melissa Willig