Scientists lobby Mexico president over endangered porpoise

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      Judi Lynn
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      Scientists lobby Mexico president over endangered porpoise
      Mark Stevenson, Associated Press
      Updated 7:08 pm CST, Wednesday, December 19, 2018

      Photo: Rebecca Blackwell, AP
      FILE – In this July 8, 2017 file photo, a woman with the World Wildlife Fund carries a paper mache replica of the critically endangered porpoise known as the “vaquita marina” during an event in front of the National Palace calling on the government to take additional steps to protect the world’s smallest marine mammal, in Mexico City. The vaquita is the world’s smallest and most endangered porpoise, and lives only in the Gulf, also known as the Sea of Cortez. Experts say as few as 15 of the marine mammals remain in the wild, and none have ever been held in captivity.

      MEXICO CITY (AP) — A group of prominent scientists issued an appeal Wednesday to Mexico’s new president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, calling on him to take the unprecedented step of outlawing the possession of gill nets in the upper Gulf of California to save the critically endangered vaquita porpoise.

      The vaquita is the world’s smallest and most endangered porpoise, and lives only in the Gulf, also known as the Sea of Cortez. Experts say as few as 15 of the marine mammals remain in the wild, and none have ever been held in captivity.

      The vaquita has been driven to the brink of extinction by gill nets set illegally to catch totoaba, a fish whose swim bladder commands astronomical prices and is considered a delicacy in China. Vaquitas become entangled in the totoaba nets and drown.

       
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