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Update On Idaho Filmmaker Trying To Save A Tiny Porpoise

Tom Jefferson
Rare picture of a live vaquita.

Last June we told you the story of an Idaho man trying to save a tiny porpoise species in Mexico. Today we have an update to that story, and a new film that looks at vaquitas and their plight.

Matt Podolsky is a filmmaker with Wild Lens, an Idaho-based film company. For two years, he’s been filming the story of vaquitas, which are dying in fishing nets in the Gulf of California. Fishermen there are using gillnets to catch a fish known as the toatoba to sell their swim bladders to China. The vaquitas get caught in the same nets and are dying at a rapid rate.

Podolsky says the Mexican government banned gillnetting in the area to protect the vaquita, but fishermen are ignoring the ban because toatoba swim bladders can bring in tens of thousands of dollars apiece.

Podolsky says there might be 30 vaquitas left in the world.

The film called “Souls of the Vermilion Sea,” will be shown Saturday at the Les Boise Film Festival at the Egyptian Theatre in Boise.

A panel discussion following the screening will be moderated by Tom Michael of Boise State Public Radio.

Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

Copyright 2017 Boise State Public Radio

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