Vaquita Research Paper

Words: 596
Pages: 3

What is a Vaquita you may ask? Well, they are a small species of porpoise that live in the northern part of the Gulf of California, and with only 30 of them left on Earth. They are the most endangered cetacean in the world. The irony of the Vaquita is that they aren’t actually being hunted. Vaquita’s are the victims of bycatch.
Unwitting victims of the gillnets used for Totoaba fishing. Totoaba themselves are a critically endangered drum fish whose liver is highly prized in China for its supposed medicinal uses. For several years there have been various toothless attempts by the Mexican government to stop the decline of the Vaquita. Measures include setting up protected fishing zones, and buying out local fishing licenses and equipment.
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But at the end of the day it all seems to fall on mostly deaf ears. Some people use the fishermen as an excuse, arguing that since the Vaquita are headed for extinction anyway it’s better to save the fishermen and their families. And this would be a compelling argument if Mexican fisherman were actually benefiting from high Totoaba prices. Because while they do recieve more money for the fish, they are not building sustainable village economies that can grow. They are middle men servicing demanding Chinese consumers. Hence the title of this story, I titled this piece The Story of the Vaquita, the Story of Us because all semantics aside the root of the current Vaquita crisis is human greed. Yes it's tempting to blame this on bourgeois Chinese and their newly created wealth. But if we're honest with ourselves we know that the Western paragon of conspicuous consumption. Let’s not forget the U.S. has just pulled out of the Paris Agreement because of the way it inconvenienced outside business interests. No, this isn’t an Eastern or a Western problem, it’s a human