Journal of Marine Animals and Their Ecology (2015)


The population of the critically endangered vaquita has decreased alarmingly to less than 100 individuals due to by-catch in legal and illegal fisheries of totoaba, shrimp, shark, and others in the Upper Gulf of California. Mexico has implemented a series of conservation and fishery management measures to protect the vaquita since the early 1990’s but to no avail. Most of these measures were put in place for political or economic reasons, and
many were designed to fail. Fishery authorities worked for the benefit of fisheries and many times against environmental authorities. Two decades of lack of enforcement of weak and badly designed protection measures have doomed the vaquita to almost certain extinction.