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Save the Vaquitas

Posted By Elizabeth Geli     July 7, 2015    

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By Sean Russell

 

Saturday, July 11, is International Save the Vaquita Day – a global event designed to raise awareness about the need for immediate action to protect the Vaquita. Vaquitas, considered to be the world’s most endangered marine mammal, are a small porpoise species found in the northern Gulf of California off the coast of Baja California, Mexico. Vaquitas are the smallest cetacean species, reaching only about five feet.  Tragically, this special species has been pushed to the brink of extinction due to human activities. Specifically, Vaquitas are threatened by entanglement in gillnets being used to catch fish and shrimp in Mexican waters. As a result of this threat, last year scientists determined that there are less than one hundred vaquitas remaining.

 

The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund supports organizations working to protect the vaquita and other marine mammals. Specifically, the Fund supports efforts to work with local communities to assist them in transitioning to the use of alternative fishing methods other than gillnets and assist fishing communities in moving to alternative livelihoods, while creating community outreach programs on vaquita conservation.

 

An important piece to the challenge of protecting vaquitas is the need to raise awareness about this species among the general public. International Save the Vaquita Day provides a perfect opportunity to learn about vaquitas, and work to raise awareness in your community about their plight. Use social media, give a presentation in your community, or send e-mails to your friends and family to help spread the word about the Vaquita and the conservation issues it faces.

 

In order to ensure the future survival of the Vaquita, we must collectively take action as a global community to raise awareness about this species and advocate for conservation decisions that ensure its protection.