The vaquita, a rare small porpoise living in the northern part of the Gulf of California, is nearing extinction at a rapid pace. Illegal fishing with gillnets has increased the decline of vaquita to 34 percent per year, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It is a fact that these animals will become extinct if we ignore this issue. There are fewer than 30 remaining today.
We need emergency action to rescue a number of the remaining animals from their dangerous environment and temporarily relocate them to a safe haven in the northern Gulf of California. The Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA) wholeheartedly supports its research member the National Marine Mammal Foundation (NMMF) and its partners in the international Vaquita CPR initiative. This bold conservation plan is aimed at preventing the vaquita’s extinction.
We are doing everything we can to help this species survive, but we can’t do it alone. We need your help today.
Since learning about this problem, AMMPA-accredited organizations around the world have been contributing expertise and knowledge to assist these conservation efforts for the vaquita. They have also made financial contributions. This year as the AMMPA campaign launches, AMMPA members have made early contributions of $185,000 to help save this species. Every dollar helps, and every share to spread the word matters for these animals. The clock is ticking, and their time is almost up. Donate now.
Implementation of this ambitious conservation plan is estimated to cost more than $3.7 million in 2017 alone and could take several years. The Vaquita CPR urgently needs $1 million dollars to start the project as soon as possible. The longer we wait, the less likely we are to save the remaining vaquitas.
All donations will directly support the Vaquita CPR emergency conservation action plan by rapidly mobilizing field operations for an expertly coordinated and urgent attempt to save the vaquita from extinction.
If you would prefer to mail your donation, please reference the donation code “AMMPA Vaquita Initiative” on your check and send to the following address:
National Marine Mammal Foundation
2240 Shelter Island Dr., Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92106
Despite heroic efforts by the Mexican government to stop illegal gillnet fishing, hundreds of vaquitas have drowned from entanglement in those nets the past several years.
In an unprecedented move demonstrating its commitment to conservation, the Mexican government instituted a gillnet ban throughout the vaquitas’ range, provided financial compensation to affected fishermen, and established strong enforcement measures. Still, illegal gillnet fishing continues, targeting a specific fish that is also endangered (the totoaba).
The emergency action plan developed by the Consortium for Vaquita Conservation, Protection and Rescue (VaquitaCPR.org) was adopted by the Mexican government’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT). Under the plan, animals will be located, rescued, housed and cared for by animal specialists and veterinarians. A sanctuary sea pen will be constructed. The vaquitas will be released once their habitat is free of gillnets. Rescuing the vaquita may be impossible, but if we don’t try, these tiny survivors will disappear.
The plan will be implemented in tandem with Mexico’s ongoing efforts to end illegal fishing and remove gillnets from the Upper Gulf of California.
The Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquarium’s (AMMPA) is an international association representing the world’s leading marine life parks, aquariums, zoos, and research facilities dedicated to the highest standards of care for marine mammals and to their conservation in the wild.
The following organizations are contributing scientific, veterinary and animal expertise to the Vaquita CPR initiative: