This is the moment fishermen try to free a rare porpoise on the brink of extinction that has been caught up in their net.
The ‘critically-endangered’ porpoise known as a vaquita was snarled in the fishermen’s net off the coast of Baja California, a state in north-western Mexico.
According to local media, sea bass fishing is authorised in the area, with the best time said to be between February and April.
Video Credit: CEN
However, a fishing expert claimed they were using larger nets more commonly used for illegally fishing totoaba (Totoaba macdonaldi), a large fish that is also considered critically endangered.
Both the vaquita (Phocoena sinus) and totoaba are categorised as critically endangered on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
According to the International Committee for the Recovery of Vaquita (CIRVA), there are only between six and 19 vaquitas in the area.
Local media said the vaquita seen trapped in the fishing net in the footage died.
Victor M. Toledo of the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources met with local fishermen on 17th January to address the issue of illegal fishing in the Alto Golfo de California Biosphere Reserve.
Local media said that criminal groups are illegally fishing totoaba off the coast of San Felipe, Baja California and Golfo de Santa Clara in the north-western Mexican state of Sonora.
It is unclear if the authorities are investigating the video.
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