Vaquita Marina Facts
- The Vaquita Marina is the only porpoise living in the Gulf of California, Mexico.
- Because Vaquitas are very shy, it is difficult to see them in the open sea. That’s why it is important to have acoustic monitoring so we can accurately size the population.
- The primary factor contributing to the extinction of the Vaquita is the use of gillnets to fish Totoaba (local big fish), the swim bladders of which, command a high price in the Asian market.
- Since 2008, 12 fishermen from Coporative Islas del Golfo have worked on the Monitoreo Vaquita project.
- In addition to the Monitoreo Vaquita project, more than 40 fishermen are also helping with Sea Shepherd’s Operation Milagro III, which is tasked with removing ghost gillnets that damage sea life in general.
- Taking away ghost gillnets from the Vaquita refuge significantly improves the Vaquita’s habitat, removing the danger of be entangled.
Listen to the Vaquita!
The sound you hear was produced through the acoustic monitoring of the Vaquita Monitoreo.
TIME IS SHORT: 30 VAQUITAS LEFT
Time is Short
Only 50 years have passed since the Vaquita Marina was discovered, but behaviors like the illegal trafficking of the swim bladders of the local Totoaba fish, which commands a high price in Asian markets, is the primary cause driving Vaquita to extinction. It is a complicated situation, but with international help, we believe that we can save this small porpoise, unique to the Gulf of California, Mexico. With your help we can continue with this big effort.
Monitoreo Vaquita contributes the greater effort of saving the Vaquita Marina in two significant ways. First, as the only local group with acoustic monitoring equipment, we provide crucial information about the size of the Vaquita population upon which scientist and policy makers based their decisions. In addition, we create awareness—in particular locally—about the Vaquita Marina’s situation and act as an model for the international community illustrating the contribution that local people can make in such matters that seem beyond us. We hope that the example we set may play some small role in fostering more local communities to take action to save natural world around them, which everywhere is under attack.