With only 150 left, the most criictally endangered cetacean in the world, the Vaquita porpoise, may become extinct by 2015 if the decline rate continues.
The decline in the vaquita population is believed to be due to the animals becoming trapped in gillnets intended for capturing another species endemic to the Gulf of California, the tototaba. 39 and 84 individuals are killed each year by gillnets.
Gillnets are used in a controversial method of fishing that spreads fishing nets over a wide area of oceanâ€”resulting in high instances of bycatch. Many animals are unintentionally caught this way, leading to the decline in these marine species.
The Mexican government has created a nature reserve covering the upper part of the Gulf of California and the Colorado River delta, but it isn't enough. The reserve needs to be extended southwards to cover the full known area of the Vaquita's range and there needs to be a complete ban trawlers from the reserve area.