Leonardo DiCaprio Tweets to Save Mexico’s Vaquita
Mariano Castillo - CNN
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May 12, 2017

Leave it to Leonardo DiCaprio to remind us that social media can serve a porpoise. The vaquita porpoise, to be precise.

The actor and activist used Twitter and Instagram this week to get his millions of followers to sign a petition asking Mexico's President to take immediate action to protect the endangered vaquita porpoise, native to that country's Gulf of California.

His plea apparently got the attention of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who on Thursday night fired off a series of tweets - in English - defending his government's efforts to save the vaquita.

There may be fewer than 30 vaquita left in the Upper Gulf of California, the only place on Earth where the tiny porpoise live, according to the World Wildlife Fund, the organization behind the petition that DiCaprio cited.

Illegal fishing and lax enforcement of existing fishing laws have contributed to the rapid decline of the vaquita, according a recent report by the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita.

The estimated vaquita population dropped from about 60 to 30 between 2015 and 2016, and the species is in danger of becoming extinct in a few years, the report says.

The World Wildlife Fund petition calls on Peña Nieto to establish a permanent ban on gill nets. Vaquitas are not fished directly, but get caught in gill nets that fishermen use to illegally catch totoaba, a large fish popular in Asia.

Read the rest at CNN

Related: Mexico Enlists Dolphins to Help Endangered Tiny Porpoise (Reuters)

Related: With Mexico's Vaquita Near Extinction, Pressure for Next Steps (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Related: Is Mexico's Vaquita Porpoise Doomed By Hunt for Endangered Totoaba Fish? (San Diego Union-Tribune)

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