China bladder trade sending porpoise to extinction

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Associated Press

Posted on August 1, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 1 at 11:02 PM

MEXICO CITY (AP) — An environmental panel says fewer than 100 of Mexico's vaquita marina porpoises are left and they are in imminent danger of extinction.

A report released Friday say studies using underwater listening devices have found only about half the number of porpoises counted in 2012.

The tiny porpoise lives only in the upper portion of the Sea of Cortez. It is threatened by gillnet fishing and China's appetite for the swim bladder of another endangered fish hunted in the same area.

The bladder of the Totoaba fish is used in soups, and the vaquitas often are caught in Totoaba nets.

The report from the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita recommends a total ban on gill nets in the area of the Sea of Cortez where the vaquita lives.

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