Mexico bans night fishing, gillnets for vaquita porpoise

Mexican authorities say they are banning night fishing and gill nets in an area inhabited by the endangered vaquita marina porpoise.

The national fisheries commission says fishermen in the upper Gulf of California will also have to leave and return from specially designated docks, to help enforce the measures. It says that gillnets, the use of which was already suspended in the area, are now prohibited permanently.

The vaquita is the world's smallest porpoise, and only around 60 remain in the Gulf of California, the only place in the world they live. The vaquitas are threatened primarily by gillnet fishing for the totoaba fish, another endangered species in the area that is hunted for its swim bladder, which is considered a delicacy in China.

Environmentalists praised the measures Wednesday.