Making glistening arcs above the waters in the upper Gulf of California in northwestern Mexico, a small group of vaquitas said hello to the researchers on expedition vessel Ocean Star.
During the recent survey, Mexican oceanographers spotted the images of this rare porpoise on 25 occasions at least.
(Soundbite) Jorge Urban, Marine Researcher
“For the 25 times, but maybe the same group for us to see. That’s a good sign. The good side of the encounter is that there were government officials who did not believe in the existence of vaquitas. Now they saw them alive.”
Solely living in the gulf, the estimated number of vaquitas dropped below 100 in 2014, putting it in imminent danger of extinction.
(Soundbite) Francisco Arreguin, Marine Researcher
“It is true that vaquita has extremely low level of population. It is in serious trouble due to overfishing. Five or 10 years ago, gillnetting induced its mortality. Nowadays, mechanical fishing does more harm to them. ”
Earlier this year, the Mexican Government established a strategy to recover and preserve vaquita and banned any fishing in the core area of its reserves in the Gulf of California.