Connect with PVAngelsJoin PVAngels on FacebookJoin PVAngels on TwitterPVAngels News Feeds Tell a Friend PVAngels Newsletter

Mexico News & Politics

Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit 

  News &
Issues &
Business &
Health &
Lifestyle &
Travel &
Science &

Mexico Takes ‘Unprecedented’ Action in Safeguarding Habitats to Save the Vaquita

Monica Echeverria - World Wildlife Fund
go to original
November 15, 2017

Operation Milagro IV: A Vaquita Defense Campaign (Sea Shepherd Conservation Society)

Update: Mexico Military Crime-Busters Join Ocean Campaign to Stop Gangs Wiping Out Vaquitas (Express)

The government of Mexico, global conservation experts and civil society must urgently focus all efforts on ensuring a gillnet-free Upper Gulf of California and protecting vaquita habitat, WWF emphasized as the current phase of Vaquita CPR (Conservation, Protection, and Rescue) efforts draw to a close.

The presence of vaquita mothers and calves noted during these efforts indicates the world still has a small window of opportunity to save the most endangered marine mammal on the planet. But failing immediate action, a new totoaba fishing season, which could start as early as February, could push the vaquita to extinction.

Vaquita CPR field operations began on October 12 at the recommendation of the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita (CIRVA) and the request of the Mexican government. The project, which involved experts from nine countries, intended to locate, rescue and then temporarily move the vaquitas to an ocean sanctuary off the coast of San Felipe. Field operations to capture as many vaquita as possible were however suspended on November 4, following the death of a vaquita that had been relocated.

“The CPR efforts were a bold move and as they end, we urge all those who care about the vaquita to show similar courage and commitment to ensure a gillnet-free Upper Gulf of California,” said Jorge Rickards, CEO, WWF-Mexico. “As difficult as the last few weeks have been, we have witnessed a small glimmer of hope for the vaquita and it is our collective responsibility to do all we can to ensure a safe and healthy home for vaquitas and the new calves we have seen. Safeguarding the vaquita’s habitat is our one - and only - chance to save the vaquita.”

The biggest threat to the vaquita are fishing nets used to illegally catch the critically endangered totoaba fish, which inadvertently trap and drown the world’s smallest porpoise. In June 2017, following advocacy efforts by WWF and other organizations, the government of Mexico permanently banned the use of gillnets but enforcement remains a challenge, as does the retrieval of nets already in the water.

“Even though the situation seems dire, we cannot give up now, especially when there remains a glimmer of hope with vaquitas reproducing in the area. Any available resource must be immediately directed to habitat protection in the Upper Gulf of California to ensure strict and full enforcement of the gillnet ban and removal of ghost nets. Illegal fishing cannot be allowed, as that will lead to only one possible outcome: extinction,” added Rickards.

WWF continues to work with the Mexican government and partners such as the Instituto Nacional de Ecología y Cambio Climático (INECC), the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and the Whale Museum to remove lost or abandoned ‘ghost’ gill nets from the waters, with the collaboration and experience of local fishermen. From October 2016 to July 2017, the partners have retrieved more than 400 nets.

Read the rest at World Wildlife Fund

Related: Sea Shepherd's Campaign to Save the Vaquita Porpoise Launches in Mexico with Two Vessels (Canadian Free Press)

Related: Law Protecting Marine Mammals Turns 45, US Congress to Kill It (Natural Resources Defense Council)

We invite you to add your charity or supporting organizations' news stories and coming events to PVAngels so we can share them with the world. Do it now!

Meet the Charities

Community Services


Animals & Wildlife

Health Care

Youth & Family


Culture & Recreation

Special Interests

How You Can Help

Use Your Powers for Good

Add Your Favorite Charity

Save a Life - Give Blood


Partners for Change

Meet the Partners

Become a Partner for Change

About Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta Local News

Local Event Calendar

Puerto Vallarta Videos

Puerto Vallarta Photos

Historic Puerto Vallarta

Local Area Maps

Important Phone Numbers

CraigsList in Puerto Vallarta

News Around Mexico

Mexico Issues & Opinions

Mexico Business News

Mexico Evironmental News

Lifestyle & Entertainment

Mexico Travel & Outdoors

Science & Technology News

Mexico News & Travel Videos

Stay Connected

Find PVAngels on Facebook Follow PVAngels on Twitter Sign up PVAngels Newsletter RSS Feeds on PVAngels


About PVAngels

Add Your Charity

Add Your News & Events

Locate Yourself on Our Maps

Jobs - Join PVAngels Team

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance a more in-depth understanding of critical issues facing the world. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 USC Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

m3 • local actions from global awareness