Mexican Navy hopes to expand net-snagging hooks to protect endangered vaquita porpoises

SAN FELIPE, Mexico (AP) — Mexico’s Navy says it is planning to expand the area where it sinks concrete blocks topped with metal hooks to snag gill nets that trap vaquita marina porpoises. The Navy began dropping the blocks into the Gulf of California last year, in hopes it may help save the world’s most endangered marine mammal. The vaquita lives only in the Gulf, also known as the Sea of Cortez, where as few as ten vaquitas remain. They cannot be held or bred in captivity. The vaquitas are caught and drown in illegal gill nets set for Totoaba, a Gulf fish whose swim bladder is considered a prized delicacy in China, worth thousands of dollars per pound. The hooks are meant to ruin the totoaba nets.