With perhaps fewer than 100 vaquitas remaining in the Gulf of California, conservation experts say they will start a last-ditch recovery effort by trying to capture several of the marine mammals and keeping them in a temporary sanctuary. The emergency action plan will be led by the Mexican government and supported by a consortium of marine mammal experts from more than a dozen organizations around the world.
Despite substantial efforts by the Mexican government to protect vaquitas, the recovery team recently reviewed the latest results from advanced acoustic monitoring technology that showed the vaquita population continuing to rapidly decline.
“We are watching this precious native species disappear before our eyes,” said Rafael Pacchiano, Mexico’s secretary of the environment and natural resources. “This critical rescue effort is a priority for the Mexican government and we are dedicated to providing the necessary resources in order to give the plan its best chance of success.” The plan will be implemented in tandem with ongoing efforts to remove the threat of gillnets in the Upper Gulf of California and eliminate illegal fishing. Continue reading “Conservation groups eye emergency rescue plan for vaquitas”→
Hong Kong prosecution of black market traders could help slow illegal fishing in Gulf of California vaquita preserve
By Bob Berwyn
Conservation groups and the Mexican government are making progress in trying to avert extinction of the vaquita porpoise, a small marine mammal that lives only in a few thousand square miles in the northern Gulf of California.
Late last month, Greenpeace announced that several Hong Kong traders involved in selling illegal marine products from the Gulf of California were convicted and fined for their activities, which could help deter more trade in illegal marine products from the region. It’s that trade that’s pushing the vaquita to the brink of extinction.
Focusing on illegal trade could help protect world’s most endangered marine mammal
By Bob Berwyn
In a hopeful sign for the critically endangered vaquita, Mexican environmental and law enforcement officials have indicated they’ll work more closely with conservation groups to track illegal fishing in the upper Gulf of California, and try to stop the trade of illegal fish in the region.
More enforcement, support for sustainable fishing practices needed to protect world’s most endangered marine mammal
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Marine mammal conservation advocates with Greenpeace last week said that their patrols in the northern Gulf of California found 10 illegal gillnets, which were removed by Mexico’s environmental authorities.
Study tracks shift in nesting grounds as oceans warm
FRISCO — Scientist think climate change may be a key reason that thousands of seabirds are leaving their nesting grounds on an island in the Gulf of California and moving north.
In a new study, researchers from the University of California at Riverside looked at Isla Rasa, where more than 95 percent of the world’s population of elegant terns and Heerman’s gulls have traditionally nested.
FRISCO — Illegal gillnet fishing in the northern Gulf of California continued to take a toll on endangered vaquita porpoises the past few years, according to a new report suggesting that as few as of 50 vaquitas remain.
The report, from the Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita (CIRVA), is based on acoustic detection surveys, which is the best way to count the small porpoises. Based on the most recent survey, the scientists concluded an apparent 42 percent drop in the vaquita population from 2013 to 2014, when scientists estimated the population at less than 100. Continue reading “Vaquita population may be down to 50”→