The totoaba (Totoaba macdonaldi) is a very large species of fish that is endemic to the Gulf of California in Mexico. Once abundant, the totoaba has become rare and is listed on IUCN Red List as “critically endangered”.
Fishing for totoaba was banned in Mexico in 1975, but due to its high value on the black market in China, where it is sought after for its swim bladder, illegal fishing has become rampant.
The illegal totoaba fishery is believed to be responsible for the rapid decline of the vaquita porpoise in recent years. Vaquita grow to about the same size as totoaba and become entangled as by-catch.