Thursday, October 11, 2007
ScienceDaily: Rare Dolphin Driven To Extinction By Human Activities, Scientists Fear: "Scientists are also concerned that this could just be the first of many human-caused extinctions of marine mammals that are under stress around the world. 'We are concerned about several vulnerable species of dolphin and porpoise around the world, including the vaquita,' said Nicole Le Boeuf, international fisheries biologist for NOAA Fisheries. The vaquita is a critically endangered porpoise found only in the uppermost part of Mexico's Gulf of California. Vaquita have been reduced to only a few hundred animals because of accidental deaths in small-scale fishing nets. In addition to the vaquita, many coastal dolphins and porpoises in other parts of the world are highly vulnerable to being accidentally caught in similar fishing gear. 'The vaquita and other highly imperiled marine mammals represent a major conservation challenge,' said Le Boeuf. 'There is very real global concern for these species, especially with the all but certain loss of the bajii in China. NOAA and its international partners are working together to lend their support to Mexico and other nations with similar species in their coastal and inland waters.' In the end, it may come down to conserving not just dolphins and porpoises, but local communities as well. 'We have to find a way to let local fishermen put food on their tables that doesn't involve putting nets in the water that decimate these coastal dolphin species,' said Taylor."
Posted by Stephen Sanders at 11:40 AM