What is a Vaquita and why do we need to save it?
The Vaquita is the world’s most endangered marine mammal. Found exclusively in the Gulf of California, Mexico, these small porpoises are on the brink of extinction with only about 60 remaining. That’s 60 animals in total and the number is declining fast.
July 9, 2016 was International Save the Vaquita Day. Approximately 30 venues across the globe held events to help raise awareness of the plight of the Vaquita. At the Vancouver Aquarium, renowned porpoise expert, Dr Anna Hall gave some short talks about the Vaquita. Dr Hall is also President of the Porpoise Conservation Society which is based right here in Vancouver. The society’s mission is to bring awareness to all 7 species of porpoise.
We filmed the talks for the Porpoise Conservation Society and I’ll pop in a link here as soon as it’s online. Dr Hall spoke about gill net fishing and how these nets are the main cause of the Vaquita population decline as the small porpoises become entangled in the nets and drown. Mexico has introduced a 2 year ban on gill net fishing in an effort to save the Vaquita but it is difficult to enforce.
It is not yet too late. You can use your buying power to help. Choose sustainable seafood that has been caught in a way that does not produce by-catch. This will help not only the Vaquita, but other porpoises, dolphins, turtles and marine life. The Oceanwise website is a great place to start.
Learn more about the “panda of the sea” at VivaVaquita and help save the Vaquita!