Report of the International Whaling Commission (1995)


Sightings of 37 groups of vaquitas, Phocoena sinus, with an estimated total of 62 individuals, are reported from six major systematic surveys and four small boat surveys in the Gulf of California, Mexico, carried out between May 1992 and December 1993. All vaquita sightings but one occurred on the western side of the northern Gulf of California, where nearly all previous confirmed sightings have occurred. Furthermore, vaquitas have been seen in this area in all seasons, suggesting year-round occupancy. Stranding data, mortalities in fishing nets and sightings of live animals all confirm that the present distribution of P. sinus is concentrated in a small area near Rocas Consag in the northwestern Gulf of California.