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KPBS Midday Edition

Death Of Mexican Fisherman Could Lead To End Of Protections For Endangered Porpoise

Vaquita porpoises swim in the Gulf of California in this undated photo.
NOAA
Vaquita porpoises swim in the Gulf of California in this undated photo.
An altercation between conservationists and fishermen in a marine refuge for Vaquitas has resulted in the death of a Mexican fisherman. Now, lawmakers are considering ending protections for the critically endangered porpoise.

The death of a Mexican fisherman may be the final straw in the years-long effort to save the most endangered marine mammal on Earth; the vaquita porpoise in the Gulf of California, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

This week, a group of Mexican agencies will issue recommendations on limiting the protected zone for the remaining vaquita.

Critics claim the Mexican government has been more interested in saving the endangered porpoise and appeasing foreign environmentalists than protecting local fishermen, while wildlife advocates fear that relaxing protections for the vaquita could mean extinction.

Wendy Fry, a Watchdog and accountability reporter for The Union-Tribune, joined Midday Edition on Monday to discuss the recent incident in the Sea of Cortez and its potential impact on the critically endangered Vaquita.