Moves to protect marine and freshwater dolphins



Posted on 19 August 2013  | 
Mexico is to implement sustainable fishing practices to reduce threats to the critically-endangered vaquita porpoise, the world’s smallest and rarest marine mammal. Less than 200 vaquita are found only in the Gulf of California on Mexico’s west coast, where they are threatened by drift gill nets. A WWF call for protection of the vaquita through sustainable fishing practices gained 38,000 supporters from 127 countries. Gill nets will be substituted with more selective nets, and fishermen trained in their use and compensated.
Bolivia is to protect the bufeo, a freshwater dolphin found mainly in two watersheds. The presence of over 4,500 dolphins indicates the freshwater ecosystems are in good health.

Vaquita or Gulf of California Harbor porpoise (Phocoena sinus) caught in fishing nets, Baja California, Mexico.
Vaquita or Gulf of California Harbor porpoise (Phocoena sinus) caught in fishing nets, Baja California, Mexico.
© National Geographic Stock/Flip Nicklin/Minden Pictures / WWF Enlarge

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