Threats to the species include energy exploration and development, oil spills and clean up efforts, vessel strikes, human noise and entanglement in fishing gear. There are less than 100 of the whales left in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico near the De Soto canyon, where the population resides.
“The Trump administration has declared war on whales, dolphins and turtles off the coast of California,” Todd Steiner, director of the California-based Turtle Island Restoration Network, told the LA Times.
“The situation is completely out of control,” says Lorenzo Rojas-Bracho, a cetacean expert at the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change in Ensenada, Mexico, and member of the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita, an international advisory group to the Mexican government. “Of course, there’s a risk in capturing the vaquitas. But it’s clear now that they will be killed [in gillnets] anyway.”
“…a growing body of evidence suggests that our casual attitude about waste
may be reshaping the way the natural world functions across much of the planet, inadvertently subsidizing some opportunistic predators and thus contributing to the decline of other species, including some that are threatened or endangered.”
Conservationists, Maas told The Dodo, have been notifying the New Zealand government for years that the dolphin was struggling for its survival. But like many storylines around endangered species, there’s a loop that inevitably takes place. “You go through these cycles where there’s denial of your findings by the detractors,” says Maas. “Then you produce evidence and scientific facts. And if you are lucky, you make incremental progress. And then the cycle starts again: denial, refusal, new evidence and incremental progress.”
Editor’s Note: An environmental news release follows this report. (Reuters) – U.S. fisheries managers on Monday proposed lifting protections for most humpback whales around the globe, including in American waters, based on evidence the mammals have made a strong comeback… Read More ›