There’s no other way to put it. The Vaquita is in a terrible situation.
There are fewer than 100 remaining, and they all live in a relatively miniscule area. They have consistently declined for as long as we have known about the species, and it could be getting even worse. There is a lot of conflict among governments and NGO’s in terms of who wants to help the Vaquita and who doesn’t. However,
“A certain darkness is needed to see the stars.”
We must look at the silver linings of the very dark storm cloud that is the Vaquita’s situation.
The Mexican President, Enrique Peña Nieto, and his committees are being extremely helpful, which is obviously a huge step. There are many confidential progressions being made in the “Vaquita Headquarters,” many of which are positive.
Conservation group LightHawk will be “flying monthly aerial surveys over the northern Gulf of California” this year to monitor the fishing activities in the Gulf, both legal and illegal. This kind of surveillance is a major part of enforcing the new laws to protect the Vaquita: http://www.planeandpilotmag.com/products/whats-new/lighthawk-flies-to-help-save-endangered-porpoise.html
Some more great news is that the Colorado River has finally reunited with the Gulf of California. What this means for the Vaquita, it’s hard to say. But let’s just admire some great restoration work: http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2014/05/19/a-sacred-reunion-the-colorado-river-returns-to-the-sea/
Another example of great Vaquita conservation is the San Diego Zoo: http://blogs.sandiegozoo.org/2014/10/31/helping-vaquita-porpoises/
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium, famous for their dolphin Winter (the subject of both Dolphin Tale movies), has started a major campaign to save the Vaquita: http://www.seewinter.com/get-involved/winters-hope-vaquita
Two more petitions that we would really appreciate you to sign are:
I have a second edition of my book in the works, so keep an eye out for that in the near future…
Finally, many of you remember the Vaquita Blanket Challenge. It was a challenge (much like the ALS Ice Bucket one) where we encouraged participants to get wrapped up in two blankets and try to escape in under 97 seconds (the number of Vaquitas left). Though there were some wonderful participants, many people either didn’t have the time to film themselves doing this or simply were embarrassed. Therefore, the t-shirt campaign for people who had taken the challenge did not thrive by any means. In light of this, I have created a new t-shirt campaign that isn’t related to the challenge. Please check it out, and hopefully purchase one for yourself or a loved one (it makes the perfect Christmas gift for that animal lover in your life). Our goal is 50 shirts, but I believe we can surpass that. 100% of profits go to the Muskwa Club, Inc., now an official non-profit organization, and you can even make an additional donation directly to them. The campaign runs the entire month of November, so you will receive the shirts by Christmas.
I believe the effort to save the vaquita is long overdue. This species has been in danger for at least 10 years that I am aware of and nothing was done, until the numbers became dangerously low. I contacted Greenpeace a few years back and they did travel to San Felipe to investigate but nothing was done at that time. Prohibiting fishing in San Felipe is a drastic measure and people are going to be hungry because of the moratorium on fishing. The restaurant owners in town will struggle as well the fishermen who try to feed their families and make a living. Is there no other way to protect this species? People’s lives are at stake as well as the lives of these beautiful vaquita.
Thank you so much for your comment. This is an incredibly fragile situation, as you know. Everyone is working towards the best solution for man and porpoise. There is still hope if everyone cooperates and trusts each other.