Saving the Vaquita: Daily Planet This week, we go on a high-risk rescue effort to try to save a rare but endangered species of porpoise- the vaquita. For more information on the efforts, got to ...
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The International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita reported in 2017 that there were just 30 vaquita left in the Upper Gulf of California, the species’ only known habitat. The cause of death for this small porpoise is becoming entangled in gillnets used to catch totoaba whose swim bladders are in high demand and are trafficked illegally, especially to China. Mongabay contacted Andrea Crosta of the international wildlife trade watchdog group Elephant Action League before his return to Mexico to hear what he found during his last visit in February 2018.
"According to first-hand information coming from our undercover teams in Mexico and China, the market for the totoaba’s swim bladder (maw) is still strong, and Chinese traders, including those living in Mexico, are still buying a lot of maw from the Mexican totoaba cartels and smuggling it into China through various means."