An international scientific expedition has spotted up to 25 individual specimens of a near-extinct small porpoise in Mexico’s Gulf of California, amid efforts to save the critically endangered vaquita marina.
The environment ministry said that the rare sightings of the world’s smallest porpoise were made during the first 20 days of the Vaquita Expedition 2015, which started Sept. 26.
The scientists cautioned, however, that some of porpoises might have been counted more than once as the same may have been seen several times.
The mission seeks to obtain a precise estimate of the abundance of vaquitas in the region since the government announced in April a ban on gillnets blamed for nearly decimating the specie.
The 13-member expedition aboard the Ocean Starr ship includes scientists from Mexico, the United States, Britain and Germany using six huge binoculars called “big eyes.”