Latest Vaquita Death Comes as US Expands Seafood Ban

WASHINGTON – According to credible media reports, another vaquita was found drowned after being trapped in illegal gillnets in the Gulf of California, potentially bringing the total population of the small porpoises to nine individuals. The death came just before a strong new Mexican seafood ban to help protect the critically endangered marine mammals was posted in the Federal Register today.

Following is a statement from Zak Smith, a senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):

“The news is another crushing blow to the prospects of the vaquita’s survival. Last week’s expanded seafood import ban in the US will help squeeze the Mexican government to take the action that should have happened long ago: eliminate the gillnet fishing practices in its waters that are exterminating the vaquita. Every nation on the planet should consider similar bans of seafood fished from the vaquita’s habitat.”


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.​


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