To predict extinction, researchers used computer models that combined the genetic findings with other factors, such as birth rates. The results were clear: Vaquitas are very likely to survive if fishing deaths are stopped — but only if stopped entirely.
Even reducing the fishing deaths by as much as 80 percent would still lead to a 62 percent chance of extinction.
“There’s basically no time left,” said Jacqueline Robinson, one of the study’s authors and a postdoctoral genetic researcher. “Gill net fishing has to be halted immediately.”