The impending extinction of the vaquita is not just a fishing problem — it’s a social and ecological one too
In our current eco-friendly world, where climate change makes front-page news and the killing of a lion launches thousands of Facebook posts, how can a porpoise be nearing extinction and most of the world not even know of its existence?
The vaquita is going extinct at an alarming rate, from an estimated 600 individuals in 1996 to 60 in 2016, states a report presented to Mexico’s Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources earlier this month. It’s the world’s smallest marine mammal, with a maximum length of only 1.5 meters (4.9 feet). And with its dark eye patches and mouth that seems to curl up into a smile even after death, the vaquita is not missing out on the cute factor.