Mexico announced plans to use trained dolphins to corral the last remaining vaquita marina porpoises into a protected breeding ground.
Vaquita Marina Porpoises
- The world’s most rare marine mammal, is on the edge of extinction.
- Scientists estimate there are just 30 remaining vaquitas, the world’s smallest porpoise, a species found only in the waters of the Gulf of California.
- The vaquita has a large dark ring around its eyes and dark patches on its lips that form a thin line from the mouth to the pectoral fins.
- Vaquita are often caught and drowned in gillnets used by illegal fishing operations in marine protected areas within Mexico’s Gulf of California.
- The population has dropped drastically in the last few years.
Rescue Measures taken
- The authorities would deploy dolphins trained by the U.S. Navy to herd as many vaquitas as possible into a marine refuge.
- Guarantee to capture the largest possible number of vaquitas to have an opportunity to save them.
- The government also announced it has permanently banned the fishing nets in which vaquitas are often killed.
- Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto signed a deal in June with Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio and Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim to increase efforts to save the vaquita.
Source : The Hindu
GS III : Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment