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[–]Harry-le-Roy 3780 points3781 points  (254 children)

Worth noting, a significant threat to the vaquita is that it is sometimes caught as bycatch by people fishing for totoaba. The totoaba is itself a critically endangered species, but there's a black market trade that sells its swim bladders to buyers in China, where the totoaba swim bladder is considered a delicacy.

In other words, two species are on the brink of extinction, because a handful of people like to feel important, because they can drop a few hundred dollars on soup.

[–]TypeRiot 744 points745 points  (59 children)

That's what pisses me off the most. Because of people's fucking feelings these poor little buggers are being killed.

[–]BleedingAssWound 395 points396 points  (18 children)

The dish that actually confers the most status on a person is poacher dick soup. Only the truly elite can afford poacher dick soup.

[–]locomike1219 59 points60 points  (1 child)

The fact that we never learned to communicate with the buggers until it was too late is probably the saddest part

[–]IsaGuz 283 points284 points  (51 children)

And this one is already extinct:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_black_rhinoceros

And they're being extinguished with our money. I know it's hard not to buy anything made in China or southeast Asia... but we could buy much less. That'd send a message.

[–]outbackmonkey 128 points129 points  (14 children)

What isn’t a delicacy or of medicinal value to those folks?

[–]MuricanTragedy5 100 points101 points  (8 children)

The panda, but that’s because it makes them billions of dollars every year

[–]geogle 26.2k points26.2k points  (173 children)

well put that one back, dammit.

[–]FuturamaSucksBalls 466 points467 points  (20 children)

"This thing is highly endangered, and it cannot survive out of water, but let me get a picture real quick."

[–]JdPat04 26 points27 points  (10 children)

It's in a net so they either didn't care about its welfare in the first place, or hopefully, it was caught for research (to save it) and released.

[–]Forever_Awkward 16 points17 points  (0 children)

You don't research to save a species once it gets down to 12. At that point, you're looking to learn something from the extinct animal while you can.

[–]andrethefaivre 9651 points9652 points  (93 children)

Put that thing back where it came from, or so help me!

Edit: Obligatory thank you for the gold! I honestly didn't think anyone would really care about a Monsters Inc reference/meme but apparently it made a bunch of you happy so I'll be happy about that

[–]HillsboroughAtheos 1785 points1786 points  (31 children)

So help Me! So help Me! Goodbyyyyyye

[–]therkobsession 182 points183 points  (1 child)

It's a work in progress. Hey we need ushers!

[–]Lupinthrope 154 points155 points  (0 children)

Bum bum bum!

[–]Tomato__Potato 79 points80 points  (0 children)

So help me so help me! AND CUT

[–]bexar_necessities 137 points138 points  (2 children)

"Stop clapping then ya evil bastard!"

[–]Ubarlight 50 points51 points  (3 children)

It belongs in a museu-

Wait

[–]Killeradd2 16.3k points16.3k points  (1208 children)

I think you mean 11

[–]tetrasomnia 9028 points9029 points  (940 children)

Sadly, this article strongly implies that this may be the same one that passed away when captured for research.

“Never before had a vaquita porpoise been successfully captured and cared for by humans.”

Well, we succeeded with the first bit. 🙃

[–]scemcee 1528 points1529 points  (504 children)

Two of my very good friends were on that mission, and they are still devastated to this day. There's no hope for this animal; they have probably all been killed by fisherman by this moment.

[–]manticorpse 1968 points1969 points  (465 children)

The animals, the world’s smallest porpoises, get tangled and drown in nets set illegally to catch another endangered species, a fish called the totoaba. The poachers’ bounty is an organ from the totoaba called the swim bladder, which is considered a delicacy and status symbol in China and can sell for up to $50,000 on the black market.

Of fucking course.

edit: ... this was meant to be posted to the parent comment. Sorry for the brusque reply to a sad comment, buddy.

[–]Kazukster 702 points703 points  (64 children)

Why is it always a fucking delicacy on the Chinese market

[–]africanized 258 points259 points  (25 children)

I think the Chinese are making up their delicacies at this point. How the hell would a species endemic to a small section of the Americas be a historical food in China? I think Chinese mentality simply assigns a higher desirability rank to animals with smaller populations. That's why they love eating anything on the endangered list. Chinese eating habits are destroying biodiversity.

[–]callmesnake13 111 points112 points  (10 children)

When Russians learned that beluga sturgeon were threatened there was an immediate uptick in purchasing caviar, like the goal was to eat as much as possible before they were gone.

[–]rabidbasher 70 points71 points  (7 children)

Not the same. That was something that was already a delicacy that was found to be in danger after its rise to popularity.

The Chinese learn that there's some previously unknown super rare thing in the ocean and suddenly everyone's like "fuck it let's eat them lol".

Absolutely reprehensible.

[–]Cypraea 30 points31 points  (6 children)

So some enterprising person could invent a whole species, repurpose some leftover byproduct of existing animal slaughter into a part of that "animal," and make a fucking fortune auctioning off "parts" of it to the Chinese as an exceedingly rare delicacy?

[–]TWS85 835 points836 points  (331 children)

Is a beautiful animal going instinct? I guarantee it's the fucking Chinese

[–]Mathgailuke 1033 points1034 points  (395 children)

“Never before had has a vaquita porpoise been..."

[–]__PM_ME_YOUR_SOUL__ 969 points970 points  (383 children)

July 7 will be Save The Vaquita Day. Maybe these guys thought every other day was Kill Every Vaquita That You See Day.

[–]CSKING444 191 points192 points  (115 children)

So how did it got to this stage, did we just kept killing them until we realised that, "Hmm, today surely are there [are] less number of Vaquitas to save [hunt] " or was it by natural selection or something (?)

Edit: I don't English at night (as you can see here)

Edit2: how many females are still alive? Or will this go the same way as that last male northern white rhino

[–]marykn 323 points324 points  (30 children)

According to WWF:

Vaquita are often caught and drowned in gillnets used by illegal fishing operations in marine protected areas within Mexico's Gulf of California. The population has dropped drastically in the last few years.

[–]WhosUrBuddiee 187 points188 points  (12 children)

At least with only 12 left, their getting caught in gillnets is no longer an often occurrence.

[–]Jellodyne 345 points346 points  (3 children)

It may only happen a dozen or so more times.

[–]M4570d0n 164 points165 points  (61 children)

From Wiki:

The population decrease is largely attributed to bycatch from the illegal gillnet fishery for the totoaba, a similarly sized endemic drum) that is also critically endangered.[7][11][12] The population decline has occurred despite an investment of tens of millions of dollars by the Mexican government in efforts to eliminate the bycatch.[8

[–]ketchy_shuby 27 points28 points  (0 children)

Gill nets.

[–]Kessynder 617 points618 points  (195 children)

Unfortunately, the species will be extinct. No amount of human intervention will stop the falling number of these amazing creatures. There's something called a genetic bottleneck in biology. The gist of it is when the gene pool of a species becomes too small you cannot recover the species due to interbreeding.

[–]Dahjoos 665 points666 points  (57 children)

You can recover a species from interbreeding with human intervention, and the act of interbreeding itself is not bad (see: any purebred animal/crop), it mostly exposes existing defective traits, which may be fixable with gene therapy, and while it'll never reach the same performance of a healthy genepool, it's far from deadweight.

The big problem is that it's pointless to reintroduce a species, when the reason why it went exctinct is still there

[–]ullyses85 41 points42 points  (3 children)

The big problem with the vaquitas is that there is no possibility for direct human intervention as with other species such as the panda. This mainly because vaquitas don't deal really well with stress of being captured and fucking die a couple of hours after catch. They are currently using trained dolphins to lure them into secure areas and help them breed because aparently, just like the panda, they don't like to fuck a lot, so sadly there are not really a lot of other things that can be actively done to help out other than try to keep together the few that are left.

[–]scrappy6262 465 points466 points  (16 children)

Also, see: Alabama. please don't hate me

ROLLTIDE

[–]Skald_ 164 points165 points  (3 children)

As an Alabamian, I'd be pissed if I could read.

[–]Stackhouse_ 162 points163 points  (82 children)

That's kinda depressing. So even if we got all 12 together and they fucked each other's brains out there is no hope?

[–]apginge 134 points135 points  (66 children)

We may be able to replicate their DNA and make more if it makes you feel any better

[–]ashbyashbyashby 99 points100 points  (57 children)

But they'd probably still only have 12 individuals' DNA to work with... so they'd still have the same genetic bottleneck and associated health problems. Right?

[–]svetambara 59 points60 points  (27 children)

*not a biologist

I've heard ancestral data is encoded in each creatures DNA. If gene processing and storage is up to the task, we might be able to archive a rough history of the Vaquitas until a later date when cloning isn't just sci fi fantasy. (I don't just mean IVF cloning because once all 12 Vaquitas are gone that becomes impossible)

I have the same hope for woolly mammoths and one Russian scientist whose name escapes me is advocating for a genetic Noah's Ark to archive the world's species before we drive them all to extinction. That way we can reintroduce them one day strategically to help the ecosystem recover

[–]ashbyashbyashby 19 points20 points  (12 children)

All good, I'm not much of a sciencer 😆

The DNA bank is a great idea, agreed. They should do the Arctic seed bank thing with every (useful, no mosquitoes!) species.

[–]notmyrealusernamme 66 points67 points  (7 children)

Maybe there'll be the potential to brute force those genes out in the future, who know... The again I've been awake for about 5 minutes so there's that

[–]ashbyashbyashby 182 points183 points  (2 children)

😲 WAKE UP DUDE THE FUTURE OF VAQUITAS DEPENDS ON US 😲

[–]scijior 63 points64 points  (9 children)

Yeah, wtf is this lil guy doing outside the water, then?

[–]Charlitos_Way 1295 points1296 points  (71 children)

Came here to cry about this

[–]Tucko29 125 points126 points  (66 children)

OOTL?

[–]TwistedMexi 412 points413 points  (64 children)

The pic shows it in a net on land. But it was probably just back in the water and is fine. I hope.

[–]did_you_read_it 407 points408 points  (36 children)

it's just a fake plastic model of one. it's fin is stiff, it's skin is perfect , water doesn't even normally bead up on fish sea mammals like that .

here's another angle

here's a real one

EDIT: well at least PBS agrees with me http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/blog/featured-creature-vaquita/ , Credit to u/TheMadTemplar for finding that source.

[–]ChippyMcChiperson 283 points284 points  (0 children)

here's a real one

that's even sadder

[–]RudegarWithFunnyHat 210 points211 points  (43 children)

they may just have captured it for taking selfies, and will release it eventually if they remember.

[–]Skadwick 215 points216 points  (32 children)

[–]Buckling 121 points122 points  (2 children)

Everytime this comes up and I get angry again. Thanks for that.

[–]ShowerMeWithAdvice 88 points89 points  (6 children)

Wow, the picture is infuriating.

They're legit just passing it around as if its some kind of new toy.

[–]banditoflives 28 points29 points  (3 children)

Just wait til aliens do this with us in space without oxygen and we’re all like: “We’re under attack!!” And they are all like: “Let’s hug and take selfies with this Human, we will be friends!”

[–]richal 46 points47 points  (10 children)

If it helps subdue the rage, it was already dead. Which makes more sense, as such a shy species probably would not be just swimming in arms reach of beachgoers without a mother...

[–]inigotargaryen 53 points54 points  (2 children)

This makes me hate humans even more

[–]MangoCats 128 points129 points  (42 children)

This animal was called a Vaquita, they lived in the norther gulf of California, and there were only 12 of them left in early 2018.

Unless global warming gives them a big competitive and reproductive boost (unlikely,) they're toast.

[–]xrat-engineer 112 points113 points  (30 children)

A bottleneck of 12 individuals? Not much is gonna survive that that doesn't reproduce asexually already.

[–]Aww_Topsy 104 points105 points  (22 children)

California’s sea otters trace their lineage to fifty individuals from 1938. If the remaining stock is healthy and seriously protected there’s a reasonable chance for a rebound.

[–]axyz77 11 points12 points  (0 children)

How do you know OP didn't already deduct?

[–]Cooler12 72 points73 points  (27 children)

No cuz there were 13 yesterday 😒😒

[–]KyleGG 51 points52 points  (23 children)

I just had a look, there is only 10 of them.

[–]rtqb18 3985 points3986 points  (135 children)

I don’t know if it’s been mentioned here or not, but at least on paper, the Mexican government made it a point to send the coast guard and some marines to the Baja region to monitor the area to try to protect them and bring them back. I say on paper because government can be a lot of talk and no action

[–]TheKekRevelation 1256 points1257 points  (48 children)

Was recently in a smaller town on the Baja. There are absolutely federal patrols both by boat and trucks that drive on the beach. Many locals that had small nets they used to help themselves get by have had them confiscated. It may not be as organized or full scale as the US government might have handled it, but they are not doing nothing, I can assure you.

[–]shahooster 207 points208 points  (39 children)

Gracias for doing something. Sounds like a significant effort.

[–]samurguy990 79 points80 points  (38 children)

Sounds like a problem for the locals though

[–]Theothercword 63 points64 points  (2 children)

Yeah, that part is sad to hear. I used to vacation in Baja every year in a tiny little town and the poverty among the locals across a lot of Baja is staggering. I would often see lots of shacks made from stripped car parts from all the cars that broke down on the shitty roads. And I remember one year over Christmas taking our ATV and dressing up as elves and going out handing candy to all the kids and some of those tiny little poorly made homes would have a ton of children. It’s a hard life at times and to hear them lose their fishing equipment is heartbreaking since it’s a lot more than recreational for them. However I also understand the need to preserve, it just sucks the government is the kind to take away without providing an alternative.

I haven’t been for probably 6-8 years now so things may have changed, I hope so.

[–]PmMe_Your_Perky_Nips 11 points12 points  (0 children)

That's easily fixable though. There have been successful programs in the past that get the locals themselves to protect the endangered species. They just need to find an incentive program that rewards locals for protecting the animals instead of allowing them to die.

[–]gantil_ 48 points49 points  (5 children)

Sea Shepherd and the Mexican government are teaming up to save them. Sadly illegal fishers started getting guns to "defend" themselves against both groups.

[–]1475315963 178 points179 points  (38 children)

I believe there was a scientific american article about them that said some scientists tried to get the government to step in, but the locals didn't really like the government or some foreign scientists pushing them around. Additionally, their bladders are worth a lot on the chinese black market, so the mexican underworld gets involved, which means the locals and government would almost prefer they get wiped out so there is less money going to the cartels. Total shit show

[–]goldpanda1 178 points179 points  (16 children)

The bladders of the Totoaba are the ones worth a lot on the Chinese market. The catching of Vaquitas is just by-catch from the illegal fishing of Totoaba. The Mexican government does have police and authorities in the Gulf of California, but the number of illegal fishermen is way too high to be regulated.

[–]NolanTheIrishman 117 points118 points  (8 children)

Isn't that insane...

"Hey remember that one time when we wiped out an entire species of beautiful animals just so that some wealthy businessmen in Beijing could brag to the other businessmen that they ate a $15,000 aphrodisiac in order to better enjoy their time in the brothel."

Fuck some people...

[–]vladval 3118 points3119 points  (160 children)

Vaquita.. doesn’t that mean “small cow” in Spanish?

[–]cwasson 174 points175 points  (4 children)

Lil Cow

[–]vladval 74 points75 points  (1 child)

Eskeeeeetit

[–]swyrl- 8 points9 points  (0 children)

ESKEETIIIT

[–]Nattylight_Murica 14 points15 points  (0 children)

She has big udders, I call her big udders.

[–]aliusmander 137 points138 points  (3 children)

They're actually called vaquitas marinas (vaquita marina for singular) in Spanish. So their name, in English, would be equivalent to "little marine cows".

[–]Look4theHelpers 1336 points1337 points  (96 children)

I farted

[–]akamise 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Да

[–]suppow 64 points65 points  (8 children)

Yes, but I'd prefer "little cow" to get a better sense of the tone.

For example, if you have a cow, and you call her "mi vaquita", you're calling her "my little cow", not "my small cow". But you are correct, sorry for the pedantry, just wanted to inform a bit more.

[–]Ryan_Duderino 139 points140 points  (6 children)

I remember doing a report on these little guys back in high school (around ‘97), and at that time, there were around 250 left.

Was really hoping the numbers would go in the opposite direction.

[–]sonofabutch 3469 points3470 points  (344 children)

Here's some more info:

Vaquita, the world’s most rare marine mammal, is on the edge of extinction. This little porpoise wasn't discovered until 1958 and a little over half a century later, we are on the brink of losing them forever. Vaquita are often caught and drowned in gillnets used by illegal fishing operations in marine protected areas within Mexico's Gulf of California. The population has dropped drastically in the last few years.

According to World Wildlife Fund there's actually 30 of them left, so... yay?

[–]dollarcoin 835 points836 points  (37 children)

30 is an old number. March 2018 report has the number down to 12. https://news.mongabay.com/2018/03/only-12-vaquita-porpoises-remain-watchdog-groups-report/

[–]tweaksource 400 points401 points  (23 children)

This should say 12 KNOWN. Hopefully there are some we haven't found that are smart enough to stay away from us.

[–]TheDankKnight85 371 points372 points  (10 children)

Hey there! My lab at Rockefeller University is sequencing the genomes of the last remaining Vaquita, and current estimates suggest 25 individuals remain. Sad news, but we’re working to help conserve these cute guys!

[–]wearer_of_boxers 65 points66 points  (1 child)

will you be taking ova/sperm from specimens for cloning?

is that an option at all? because i don't see these 30/25/12 guys surviving as long as people use nets in the region.

Accidental drowning in gillnets set by fishermen meant for catching totoaba is the primary cause of anthropogenic, incidental mortality for the vaquita.

[–]whichwitch9 1444 points1445 points  (262 children)

No yay.

A population that size will be highly subject to inbreeding and genetic problems. This is almost certainly not "if" they go extinct, but "when".

Very small chance of the species surviving, at 12 or 30 individuals

[–]ThePowerOfFarts[🍰] 723 points724 points  (38 children)

They are the McPoyles of marine mammals.

[–]sgthombre 412 points413 points  (9 children)

THE MCPOYLES WILL RULE THE SEAS!

[–]cerealdaemon 83 points84 points  (0 children)

The McPoyle bloodline is pure as the crashing surf!

[–]Davran 83 points84 points  (9 children)

Someone get them some milk!

[–]juwyro 45 points46 points  (13 children)

With a lot of work they can be saved. The California Condor went from a a couple of dozen to a few hundred.

[–]dmr11 49 points50 points  (7 children)

Also the Black Robin, which manage to come back from one female and a few males (now they have a population of ~250 and growing).

[–]juwyro 9 points10 points  (4 children)

Are side effects from inbreeding different among birds? I know it's bad among mammals and leads to all sorts of health issues.

[–]GuudeSpelur 22 points23 points  (0 children)

Not sure about this bird specifically, but different animals have different tolerances for inbreeding. Even among mammals. Apparently rabbits are notoriously resistant to negative inbreeding effects.

[–]hibernatepaths 270 points271 points  (67 children)

I've read somewhere that 40 individuals is the minimum needed to have adequate genetic diversity to survive long term. So, if the count is off by a bit, there may be hope.

Sad to just learn about this animal and then realize they're on the verge :(

[–]a_trane13 164 points165 points  (57 children)

I've read realistically you need a few hundred, because with the minimum 40 a random defect or disease will probably wipe out the future populations.

Hopefully 30 is good enough for these guys, though.

[–]veilwalker 61 points62 points  (13 children)

You also need to selective breed with purpose with that small of a population and animals in the wild aren't known for their ability to select the right breeding partner to create the most genetically diverse offspring.

[–]Spiracle 122 points123 points  (23 children)

The Toba Genetic Bottleneck nearly did for us humans ~75k years ago and that had a comparatively generous lower limit of about 3000 individuals.

[–]a_trane13 76 points77 points  (10 children)

It depends on the species, though. Some have more copies of functional genes than others, and some are more susceptible to cancers and/or genetic defects.

[–]Prankman1990 72 points73 points  (9 children)

Yeah, like rabbits are super resistant to negative mutations, so they can get by just fine with inbreeding to reproduce. This is part of why introducing them to new ecosystems can be so devastating; you don’t need that many rabbits for them to eventually turn into an infestation.

[–]Skogsmard 68 points69 points  (6 children)

Case in point: Australia.
24 rabbits were introduced in Victoria in 1859 by a farmer wishing to hunt them for sport. By the 1920's there were 10 Billion rabbits across Australia.
Today, thanks to pest-control efforts that number has fallen to just 200 million.

[–]DatPiff916 8 points9 points  (3 children)

And they say everything in Australia is designed to kill you.

[–]DJBunBun 13 points14 points  (1 child)

Yep. Okunoshima is covered in bunnies now because of this and not having predators.

[–]GeronimoHero 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Same thing happened with cheetahs. That’s why they’re so fucked up now.

[–]OnAPieceOfDust 11 points12 points  (1 child)

I remember reading about this years ago and finding it fascinating. I just read the article you linked, and the related article on population bottlenecks, and it seems that recent research doesn't support this theory. It's cool how they can use genetic data for this stuff.

[–]camoninja22 9 points10 points  (8 children)

Then how do we have southern white rhinos, and cheetas, and cahows...

These are serious questions with a mocking tone

[–]biggmclargehuge 35 points36 points  (3 children)

Or they could end up like cheetahs which have almost no genetic variance from one to another

[–]MicrodesmidMan 16 points17 points  (2 children)

Very small chance of the species surviving, at 12 or 30 individuals

But it has happened. Check the West Virginia Northern Flying Squirrel, their populations dropped as low as ~10 and now they have been delisted with over 1000 animals across over 100 different sites.

[–]whichwitch9 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Thats why I said small chance. It is not impossible, but it is unlikely, even with conservation efforts. Also, you're talking different reproductive habits between the species, with Vaquitas taking 3 to 5 years to reach maturity, an 11 month gestation, and only 1 young produced at a time.

Also, only 10 squirrels were captured at the lowest point. Population was likely higher.

[–]shanbie_ 64 points65 points  (5 children)

So if they went all of existence without being discovered until 1958, how do the know they have an accurate count?

[–]Sweetbobolovin 30 points31 points  (3 children)

I can't believe it took this long for me to find this question. I'm interested to see what the answer is. How in Heaven's name can we say there's only 12 left?

[–]IggySorcha 45 points46 points  (2 children)

They are endemic to this one collection of tiny lagoons. They can't survive outside of them, and live in groups, so after researchers did a heavy sweep of the area it's fairly easy to tell.

[–]_Kerosun_ 775 points776 points  (183 children)

"....high demand from China for [totoaba's] swim bladder has led to a corresponding boom in illegal totoaba fishing in the past few years. Thousands of swim bladders are dried and smuggled out of Mexico, often through the United States. Fishermen receive around $4,000 for each pound of totoaba swim bladder, equivalent to half a year’s income from legal fishing activities. It is this illegal trade that is currently driving the precipitous decline in vaquita numbers."

So the reason these animals are being driven to extinction is from illegal fishing activities for an unrelated animal in an effort to sell dehydrated swim bladders to China. Not much different than the reason many other endangered species are poached: always has to be for something illegal.

Sad.

Edit Found some more information. Sadly, it IS for "medicinal properties" including the infamous "thought to increase fertility".

"People in Asian cultures use the swim bladder in a soup called fish maw," explains Erin Dean at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. It's also reputed to have some medicinal value — it's thought to boost fertility.

Dean says no one knows why the demand for it has skyrocketed recently. It could be that when a Chinese fish called a yellow croaker, which once supplied bladders, started dying out, people started turning to the Mexican totoaba to meet the demand for bladders.

A scientist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows a dried totoaba bladder at a news conference in 2013. Elliot Spagat/AP And the totoaba has one big bladder, which it inflates and deflates to control its flotation. When dried, it's about the size of a laptop computer — and it sells for big bucks.

"When one totoaba fish bladder goes for $10,000 in the Chinese market," says Dean, "law enforcement agencies kind of raise up their eyebrows and take note of this trade going on."

What investigators found is that Mexican fishermen are using huge nets, called gill nets, to catch totoaba. And those nets also accidentally snare and kill the vaquita porpoises. Their corpses get thrown away, while the totoaba bladders go to China. The whole business is a violation of both Mexican and international law, since the totoaba and the vaquita are listed by international treaty as endangered, so they're legally protected.

[–]bangochu 754 points755 points  (63 children)

Like Bobby Lee said “Chinese people please quit eating everything!”

[–]miston75 153 points154 points  (33 children)

So what disease does a swim bladder not cure? I swear the stuff people will grind up as "medicine" is absurd

[–]krzkrl 153 points154 points  (28 children)

What I don't understand, is a nation nautorious for producing fake products for a profit, why don't they just grind up anything and sell it as X very rare animal and make way more money?

[–]miston75 42 points43 points  (19 children)

Because its more profitable to grind up things like dinosaur bones and sell it as ancient viagr, than as a fossil over there. Same with tiger parts rhino horns etc.

[–]krzkrl 92 points93 points  (15 children)

Yes but how bout this,

step 1 acquire cow bones step 2 grind up cow bones step 3 ??? step 4 profit

Ground up Dino bones vs. ground up cow bones probably aren't too far off, and I'm sure you can see how profit margins are more favorable using a fake product

[–]Thevoiceofreason420 59 points60 points  (11 children)

Step 3 tell Chinese men it will make them last longer in bed. Step 4 profit.

[–]NissanSkylineGT-R 49 points50 points  (7 children)

Why can't they just buy a fast car to compensate like the rest of us?

[–]QUAN-FUSION 20 points21 points  (0 children)

He means why not lie. Grind up anything and sell it as the rare thing

[–]Eddie_shoes 11 points12 points  (1 child)

You completely missed his point. Why even go out in search of rare Dino bones when you can grind up readily available stuff like cow bones mixed with rock and pass it off as the same stuff. People already do it with drugs, and the difference in how high you get from powdered milk vs cocaine is huge while the difference between how hard you get from powdered cow bladder vs powdered porpoise swim bladder is probably non-existent.

[–]cartereveningside 87 points88 points  (6 children)

Seriously China. Just eat readily available animals like the rest of us.

[–]lawpetex 123 points124 points  (14 children)

I'm Chinese and I absolutely hate the fish maw (swim bladder) industry. The older generation does not give a fuck about the environmental consequences. Price hikes from export/catch restrictions make them think this is rare shit elixir that gives them superpowers.

[–]prohibido 23 points24 points  (0 children)

can't wait for older generations to go extinct

[–]alien_dick_reaper 10 points11 points  (2 children)

It’s like the older generations are in their own bubbles or something. They will bend reality to fit with their view. My father got all excited when he read some bullshit blog article about a type flower that only grows in Iran or some shit, complete will unimaginable health benefits. He said he will send people over there to harvest it and he will bring it to America for me.

Watching his eyes lightened up when he talk about it 😞

[–]DJErock 316 points317 points  (30 children)

I feel like most endangered species are an aphrodisiac in China

[–]SombraOnline 45 points46 points  (6 children)

Fuck those people honestly. Where the fuck did the idea of eating fish bladder to increase fertility came from? Like one person decided to try some then he suddenly got a boner? Also, who the fuck believes in those bullshit stuff and encourages hunters to catch more?

[–]castiglione_99 312 points313 points  (29 children)

If there's only 12 of them left, they're basically extinct.

I have to wonder what it must feel like to be a sentient species and realize that you're literally alone in the world except for a handful of family and friends.

[–]megalotusman 96 points97 points  (5 children)

This is the premise of many horror movies. Some other creature has taken over the planet and is killing all of your species.

[–]365280 19 points20 points  (3 children)

Sounds like a good movie to see. Would love the plot twist that we are the actual killers to not come up till way later in the movie

[–]thisrockismyboone 52 points53 points  (3 children)

Well if it makes you feel better they might have fish friends.

[–]Spartan2470 236 points237 points  (19 children)

Credit to the photographer, Paul Hilton (aka paulhiltonphoto on Instagram). Per the instagram source:

Exciting news out of South Africa via @nrdc_org! Today, the world committed to help save the #vaquita at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Parties agreed to crack down on trafficking in a fish species, the #totoaba, which is wiping out the vaquita. The vaquita get caught and drown in gillnets used to catch totoaba.

It is a sad reality that the illegal trade in one #CITES protected species, the totoaba, will cause the extinction of another CITES protected species, the vaquita, within 5 years if current trends continue. Now, with fewer than 60 vaquita remaining, there is simply no margin for error.

As I write this, governments from around the world are discussing the fate of many species at the 17th meeting of the CITES Conference of the Parties in Johannesburg, South Africa. In most instances, the Parties are finding comfort in knowing that, if proper steps are taken, we have time to reverse destructive trends. But for the vaquita, time is no longer a resource. While well intentioned, prior efforts were too timid, allowed to lapse, and in some cases undermined by unscrupulous stakeholders.

In recent years, Mexico has taken important steps, including increased enforcement to combat totoaba trade. And earlier this year the United States and China committed to combat the trade at the U.S. and China strategic and economic dialogue. But more must be done.

Thus, it is critical that we take all steps necessary to combat illegal trade in totoaba. If the vaquita is going to survive beyond the next CITES Conference of the Parties in 2019, Mexico, the United States, and China must work together to completely wipe out the totoaba trade. The actions adopted by governments at CITES support that effort and now Mexico, the U.S., and China must vigorously implement them.

October 2, 2016

Estimates in 1997 placed the population at 567.

Estimates in 2000s ranged between 150 to 300

Estimates in 2014 were below 100

Estimates in 2015 were 60

Estimates by nobember 2016 were 30

In March 2018 estimates were at a dozen.

Accidental drowning in gillnets is the primary way humans are killing them.

More info.

[–]InfiNorth 76 points77 points  (11 children)

What pisses me off most about this is that the local government hasn't stepped in and provided solutions, only imposed restrictions. As a teacher of grade seven students, when you make a rule but don't create a way of doing something other than what is forbidden, people will continue breaking the rule because it's the only thing they can do.

It's too late. The most adorable mammal in the ocean is, by all practical terms, extinct. We need to change our mentality surrounding conservation from regulation- to solution-based remedies. A lot of the Vancouver Aquarium's work is like this. They focus on providing ways for people to do right instead of simply punishing people when they do wrong.

[–]Provesiamafool 58 points59 points  (1 child)

If all the beasts are gone, man would die of a loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts, will eventually happen to man. -Chief Dan George

[–]ed_merckx 109 points110 points  (12 children)

Some people might hear "northern Gulf of California" and assume this species resides in American waters, this is not correct. The entirety of the gulf of California, also known as the sea of cortez, lies in entirely within Mexican territorial waters, it is also spans a massive area of 62,000 square miles.

It's massive, and the Mexican navy has significantly less resources than the US does, and illegal fishing is harder to stop.

[–]johnwest888 26 points27 points  (19 children)

Unfortunately I've been following this for years. We went from like 40 two years ago to 12 today. They are going to be extinct shortly. What a tragedy

[–]Gettingitdone13 249 points250 points  (21 children)

How did we let an animal this cute go extinct, did the polar bears buy all the add space? This shit makes no sense, I’m 29 first time I’ve heard or seen one of these little dudes....🤬

[–]InfiNorth 70 points71 points  (11 children)

No, until more recently, polar bears lived in an area of zero economic importance. Immoral economic entities weren't driven to invade the arctic and pillage its resources. Expect that to change with the melting ice.

[–]danivus 43 points44 points  (3 children)

No doubt below the minimum viable population, so effectively extinct.

[–]wastedalchemist 13 points14 points  (2 children)

Another reason, less often cited, is that vaquitas need the freshwater input from the Colorado river. As I'm sure you all know there's a huge dam on that river which means that practically no freshwater arrives to the gulf of California, making this whole species unviable under the current saline levels.

[–]iamthebas 14 points15 points  (0 children)

7 ways you can help (via: Viva Vaquita)

  1. A tax deductable donation to the Vaquita Recovery Fund
  2. Sign the petition to the President of Mexico and others in the Mexican government, urging immediate action in removing all gillnet fishing in vaquita's range.
  3. Write Mexican officials: President of Mexico, Ministry of Natural Resources, Commission of Natural Protected Areas. Here are sample letters in and Español.
  4. Boycott Mexican shrimp, and don't buy fish caught with gillnets (find out more here.)
  5. Support NGOs Helping Vaquitas
  6. Write your elected officials: Due to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), vaquita is an endangered species in Mexico, the United States, and Canada.
  7. Volunteer: ¡VIVA Vaquita! has several projects and can sometimes use the help of additional people and their talents. Contact them today to offer your time and skills.

Not affiliated with ¡VIVA Vaquita!, just wanted to share the message.

[–]Mirrorflute88 130 points131 points  (48 children)

If you'd like to help, donate to Sea Shepherd. They have 3 ships in the Sea of Cortez working with the Mexican coast guard to remove illegal gill nets and save wildlife caught in them. Illegal gill nets are the main cause of death of the Vaquita.