The import of seafood captured by Mexican fisheries using nets also responsible for killing tiny porpoise is facing a U.S. government ban.

According to three environmental groups that filed the lawsuit to ban the seafood — the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Animal Welfare Institute — it is possible that only 15 of the tiny porpoise, called vaquita (which is Spanish for little cow), are left thanks to illegal fishing practices and the use of gillnets. As such, it is believed that the vaquita, who reside in the Gulf of California, could be extinct by 2021.

Judge Gary Katzmann, of The U.S. Court of International Trade, granted the motion and is urging the U.S. government to follow suit.

Giulia Good Stefani, staff attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council called the ban a "lifeline" for the species.

"Our organizations have spent over a decade working to save the vaquita — and never has extinction felt so close — but now, the world's smallest and most endangered porpoise has what may be its very last chance," she said.

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