Just 92 small porpoises, known as vaquita are remaining in the wild as a result of fishing with illegal gillnets. Thousands of fishermen make use of the long nets to catch shrimps, and an accelerating number of unqualified fishermen still catch endangered totoaba fish in the Northern Gulf of California. The bladder of the totaba fish is being used by the Chinese in soups as a delicacy and for unapproved medicinal purposes. Vaquitas end up in gillnets and dies by accident during shrimp fishing and illegal totaba fishing.
The Mexican government is trying a two-year ban over 5,000 miles of the Gulf, hoping in bringing back vaquita populations. Through the two-year period, researchers will build safer nets that fishermen can use to catch shrimp without causing harm to vaquitas. The government will pay back legitimate fishermen for the catches not made during this period of time.
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