Saving the Vaquita Marina is a national problem, but Mexico shares with the world the responsibility to save any endangered species.
Monitoreo Vaquita is the local group of fishermen of San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico from the Islas del Golfo Cooperative who have collaborated with Mexican and international scientists and institutions for the investigation of the natural resources of the area. Since 2010 they have consistently supported the acoustic monitoring program for vaquita within the Vaquita Refuge and the Protected Natural Area of the Biosphere Reserve of the Upper Gulf of California.
The vaquita is the smallest of porpoises and is currently in critical danger of extinction. Its range of distribution is also the smallest of any marine mammal in the world and covers only a small area of the Upper Gulf of California, Mexico.
Mexico is a world leader in the acoustic monitoring of porpoises using passive acoustic devices or C-POD. Dr. Lorenzo Rojas-Bracho, Dr. Armando Jaramillo-Legorreta, his scientists research team and this group of fishermen are in charge of installing CPODs in shallow waters where the vaquita is distributed. CPODs detect the vaquitas vocalizations in very high frequency, called clicks. Vaquitas use these clicks to locate fish in the rich, productive, and turbid waters of the Upper Gulf and Colorado Delta River. Developing the acoustic monitoring system was the main objective of the last vaquita research cruise in 2008.
The latest data from acoustic monitoring research indicates a sharp decline in the numbers of vaquitas which warned the Mexican government to take unprecedented action and save this species from extinction as a result of incidental deaths due to entanglement in fishing gillnets used to catch fish and shrimp. *
It is estimated that the current population of vaquitas is less than 60 animals.
Concerned about the future of the vaquita, this team of fishermen join the worldwide effort to save this unique Mexican endemic species in the world. This site supports their effort.
*Information from the Instituto Nacional de Cambio Climático.