Fishermen, politician join forces to help save endangered vaquit - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Fishermen, politician join forces to help save endangered vaquita

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - A conservancy group, a local assemblyman and people in the fishing community are spreading the word about the risks the world's most endangered marine mammal faces.

It's part of International Save the Vaquita Day. The vaquita falls under the porpoise species and originates in the gulf of California. 

The sad news is there's only an estimated 22 left on the planet. Many tend to get caught in a type of fishing net known as Gill nets.

Now, there is a plan involving fishermen coming together to try and save the species.

"We're very pro fisherman, we're very pro seafood," Viva Vaquita director Tom Jefferson said. "So we don't want to see any fisherman lose their livelihood. What we would like to see if they can switch over to this other type of fishing gear that doesn't endanger the vaquita."

Viva Vaquita is spreading the word to fishermen along the Southern California coast about the threat to vaquitas posed by gill nets. The organization is also shining light on all the other ways humans are unknowingly harming marine life.

Viva Vaquita is hoping California follows Mexico's lead. The state's neighbor to the south just instituted a permanent ban on gill nets in areas where the vaquita live.

Assemblymember Todd Gloria spoke Saturday at the Save the Vaquita rally, praising those for the support and their efforts in trying to save the vaquita from extinction.

San Diego joined 37 other cities around the world rallying on the vaquita's behalf.

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