Thanks to Ellen DeGeneres for talking about the critical issue of fishing net entanglement on her show. You can watch her interview with Captain Dave Anderson here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DlIPKvYJ04&sns=em. If you find an entangled or injured ocean animal, call your nearby agency: http://www.savethewhales.org/strandingsD-2.html.
The damming of the Colorado River in the United States has led to a decrease in freshwater input into the upper Gulf of California. The long-term impact on the Vaquita from this drastic habitat alteration is of serious concern, though not as much as gillnet fishing.
According to Vivavaquita, some ways YOU can help the Vaquita are:
Tell all your friends and family about the Vaquita.
Support conservation measures and vote for politicians with a good environmental record.
Support the Mexican economy by traveling to Mexico.
Do not buy shrimp or fish caught with gillnets.
Write your elected officials and tell them to help the Vaquita.
Write a letter to the President of Mexico and tell him to save the Vaquita. Felipe.Calderon@presidencia.gob.mx
Send Vaquita drawings to the United Nations, asking them to support Vaquita conservation efforts by Mexico.
Send a message to the Mexican government to show your support for the Vaquita! Below are the most relevant agencies and links to their online suggestion boxes:
SEMARNAT (Ministry of Natural Resources)
CONANP (Commission of Natural Protected Areas)
Donate to the Vaquita Recovery Fund!
The initial reason of the Vaquita’s decline was its entanglement in gillnets set out for Totoaba. Totoaba are large fish in the drum family. They share the same water as the Vaquita, and because of overfishing, are also listed as Critically Endangered. Next time you eat seafood, be careful not to have Totoaba, which is often misidentified as White Sea Bass.
I swim in a place where fish float by.
Croakers, grunts, and shrimps you fry.
Silky sea grass below, shiny sun above,
But the Gulf isn’t a place filled with much love.
You catch us with nets set out for shrimp,
And at the moment of impact, our bodies go limp.
Our entire kind is quickly disappearing.
The weight of an entire species we’re bearing.
But the one thing we care about most:
Vaquita don’t have to say “Adios”.