World’s smallest porpoise vaquita marina close to extinction

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Vaquita marina is edging closer to extinction as scientists warned Wednesday that only 30 of them are left
  • Illegal fishing nets have been responsible for the killing the world’s smallest porpoise.
  • At the current rate of loss, the vaquita will likely decline to extinction by 2022.

Known as the “panda of the sea” because of the dark rings around its eyes, the 1.5-meter (five-foot) cetacean has rarely been seen alive.

In a possibly last-ditch effort to save the vaquita, scientists plan, after getting government approval, to capture specimens and put them in an enclosure in the Gulf of California where they can reproduce.

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