On the Brink of Extinction: The Vaquita’s Lament

Poem written by Beverly R Hampton Harvey Browne Presbyterian Church Louisville, KY March 7, 2021

Background: A small porpoise named the vaquita was declared the most endangered marine mammal in the world in 2006. Vaquitas have long been in decline as they have been caught in nets intended for another fish called the Totaba whose swim bladders are considered a food delicacy in China. International crime cartels have been illegally catching the vaquitas in their nets as they catch the Totabas. Now the vaquitas are down to only 9 remaining and are on the edge of extinction. The story of the vaquitas can be found in a book entitled “Vaquita: Science, Politics and Crime in the Sea of Cortez” by Brooke Bessesen.

The Vaquita’s Lament


O Creator God, you who made me and placed me in your beautiful sea, hear my cry! You created me with a unique form and beauty all my own! I am a member of the Porpoise family and humans are drawn to my unique form and markings. And, You intended that I would help maintain the balance of the ecosystem of your sea by my diet of smaller fish and crustaceans and by the fact that my species is the diet of your whales and other larger fish—all your creatures are inter-dependent by Your design! But I am on the brink of extinction because I am being destroyed when I am caught in the nets of international crime cartels who fish illegally in the waters where I thrive.


O my dear and powerful God, I am your creature and I know that you love me.


Please save me from the nets of extinction! Rally the governments who are in charge of the waters where you placed me. Help them protect me from those criminals who would destroy me as they seek their illegal gain.


O my God though you are in highest heaven, I know you hear my cry.


All the creatures of the seas join me in singing praises to you our Creator God!


Photo from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vaquita2_Olson_NOAA.jpg


The work of the Presbyterian Hunger Program is possible thanks to your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing.

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