What the Heck is a Vaquita?


Vaquitas are a small porpoise and they are critically endangered. It is estimated there are only eight breeding females left in the wild. They are natives of the far northern parts of the Sea of Cortez, sharing that habitat with an obscure fish called the totoaba. Unfortunately, Asian men seem to think that the swim bladder of this fish is an aphrodisiac so they send legions of illegal fishing boats up into the very top of the Sea of Cortez to capture the last of the totoaba, also endangered. Unfortunately, the Mexican government is unable to prevent their illegal fishing. Even more unfortunately, the huge drag nets the fishermen employ to capture totoaba, also trap the tiny porpoises and they drown.

The United States Navy is stepping in to try to save the species. Using dolphins trained to locate underwater mines and such, they hope the dolphins can locate the shy vaquitas. They hope to capture them all and attempt to breed them in captivity. This has never been done before and the odds aren’t good.

vaquita

Vaquita caught in a net

totoaba

Viagra fish

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