Activists protecting almost extinct vaquita attacked in Mexico

Two vaquitas, Photo: Paula Olson via Wikipedia
Two vaquitas, Photo: Paula Olson via Wikipedia

A boat from the conservation group Sea Shepherd was attacked while monitoring the near-extinct vaquita porpoise in a protected zone of Mexico’s Gulf of California.

The Vaquita Refuge is a federally protected region that is home to the last vaquita porpoises.

The attack occurred on Tuesday when a boat operated by Sea Shepherd encountered two small boats that were fishing illegally in the area. The fishermen refused to leave and starting throwing rocks, lead weights and even a Molotov cocktail at the conservationists.

“Today’s events show the unfortunate lows that the poachers will sink, to achieve their goals of pillaging our oceans,” said Sea Shepherd Captain Octavio Carranza in a statement on their website.

There are less than 20 of the vaquita porpoises left in the world. “Sea Shepherd is here to save a species on the brink of extinction so that future generations can continue to enjoy the biodiversity this area has to offer,” said Sea Shepherd Captain Jacqueline Le Duc.

The vaquita has a beautiful color pattern on the face, with dark eye rings and lip patches that look like an application of “goth” make-up. Vaquita means “little cow” in Spanish.

In early February, Sea Shepherd reported another attack in one of its ships in the same waters.

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