In attempt to prevent the extinction of a small porpoise, the Mexican government is paying fisherman NOT to fish using nets, and in some cases to not fish at all.
The porpoise, known as a vaquita, is often trapped and killed in the process of using nets to catch shrimp, mackerel, and shark of the Gulf of California.
It is estimated that there are no more than 150 vaquitas. This number is near the tipping point – a reduction would mean that there would be too few sexually mature porpoises for the species to recover.
Fishermen are being paid off to switch to other activities; in addition, new nets are being developed which do not trap the porpoises.
The vaquita has been on the critical list for some time but with the extinction of a close cousin last year, the Chinese River Dolphin, scientists, activists, and government officials felt it was necessary to intervene now.
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