Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access


Environmental Studies


Rich Wallace

Committee Member

Eric Parnell

Committee Member

Patrick Hurley

Department Chair

Patrick Hurley

Project Description

The vaquita porpoise holds the title of the world’s smallest and most endangered marine mammal. Occupying the most limited range of any cetacean, this animal lives in the Upper Gulf of California, an area that is subject to poverty, limited economic options, and the presence of cartels. The vaquita has found itself entangled in a wicked problem involving the fishing industry, black markets, organized crime, and rapid population decline. Conservation groups with strong morals may be the last hope in saving this small porpoise.