Norte News

The Student News Site of Rio Norte Junior High

Norte News

Norte News

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Rare marine mammal listed as endangered species

Courtesy+of+Hakai+Magazine
Courtesy of Hakai Magazine

 One of the smallest sea mammals, a remarkable site, is holding for dear life as it faces the brink of extinction. The vaquita, a rare exotic species of marine life, is endangered due to the hardships of illegal fishing. Being a shy member of the porpoise family. Vaquitas are the most endangered of the world’s marine mammals. Less than 20 vaquitas remain in the wild, and entanglement in illegal gillnets is driving the species toward extinction.

The unique nature and size play a role in the death of the creature. Gillnets being banned in 2008 by Mexico and California, fishers still manage to use this illegal practice. According to Logan Hicks, a student here at Rio states, “These animals are beautiful and shouldn’t be dying like this at explosive and alarming rates, because I love marine life.” But it isn’t the Vaquita that they want. The decrease is related to the totoaba, a fish hunted down for a swim bladder and sold on the black market. Vaquitas gets caught in these nets and ends up drowning. Both of these unique species, which are crucial to the ocean’s ecosystem, are being carelessly killed by arrogant fishermen.

People can participate in beach cleanups, restoration projects, and other local conservation activities. Community service as well could play a part in saving these creatures as many also end up eating trash thinking it was food. By taking action in your community, you can contribute to the protection of marine habitats and species. Raise awareness, spreading the word about the vaquita and the importance of marine conservation. Educate others about the impact of illegal fishing and the illegal wildlife trade on endangered species. Support Conservation Organizations, and donate to conservation organizations that are actively involved in vaquita conservation efforts. These organizations rely on public support to fund their initiatives and research. Another alternative is being careful about what seafood you eat, or writing to policy makers to advocate the protection of marine or wildlife. Think of ideas to prevent excess trash from making its way into the ocean and protest climate change and pollution. Over time, this could make a drastic difference and impact on people and save the Vaquita.

With our future hanging at our fingertips, people can influence the fate of the Vaquitas and future generations. By rallying together and peacefully protesting we can ensure that these creatures can thrive in their environment even with having the smallest geographical range of any marine mammal. Vaquitas can live for at least 21 years, and these 21 years should be well spent feeding on fish and shrimp and only having the threat of their natural predators.

 

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