Mexico may ban nets to save porpoise

2014-12-25 10:02

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Mexico City - Mexican authorities are proposing a $37m plan to ban gillnet fishing in most of the upper Sea of Cortez to save the critically endangered vaquita marina, the world's smallest porpoise.

The plan would compensate fishermen for stopping the use of nets that often sweep up the tiny porpoises along with their catch.

Recent reports suggest there are fewer than 100 of the shy, elusive porpoises left in the Sea of Cortez, which is also known as the Gulf of California. The gulf is the only place on Earth where the marine mammals are found.

The proposal was submitted on Tuesday for mandatory public consultation, and could be implemented in a couple of months.

The vaquita is threatened by gillnet fishing for totoaba, a huge, heavy fish whose swim bladder is prized by chefs in China.

Read more on:    mexico  |  marine life  |  conservation

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