#ISTVD2015 is tomorrow!

The biggest day of the year for the Vaquita is tomorrow!ISTVD Logo

International Save the Vaquita Day – Saturday, July 11, 2015

Last year, Saturday, July 12, 2014 was designated as International Save the Vaquita Day! This is intended to be an annual event similar to Earth Day, but with a specific focus on raising awareness and appreciation of the world’s most endangered marine mammal, the Vaquita (Phocoena sinus). Events around the globe directed the attention of people to the plight of this tiny porpoise species, and what needs to be done to save it from extinction. There were booths, games, music, free prizes, educational brochures, educational talks, face painting, and several life-size models of vaquitas on hand to draw attention to and appreciation of the Vaquita, Mexico’s “Panda of the Sea.” This year, ISTVD is on July 11, 2015 (tomorrow!).

Where did the event start?

In 2013, the first-ever Save the Vaquita Day was held on July 4th weekend, but this year the event went international! The event was initiated by the Muskwa Club, with the collaboration of VIVA Vaquita, Save the Whales, the American Cetacean Society (ACS), and several other partner organizations.

What is the goal?

The primary goal is to make as many people as possible aware of the Vaquita and its plight, and spur them to act. The species is nearly extinct, with only about 80 individuals left, and declining at almost 19% per year! We will have a simple message for folks about what they can do to help (either full support for the Mexican Government, or support for a boycott and embargo of Mexican seafood – depending on Mexico’s actions in the next couple of months). Secondary goals are to gather signatures for our petitions to the Mexican government, and also to raise additional funds for future educational and research work on the Vaquita. The event is designed to be fun, as well as educational, and kid-friendly!

Contact Us if you would like to participate.

Confirmed 2015 Events & Locations:

ISTVD tables

Yesterday, on July 9, there was a rally in Washington D.C. outside of the Mexican Embassy building. The event was a great success, and many volunteers came out to show support for Mexico’s recent actions but stressed that more still needs to be done. Learn more here.

I will be having a table tomorrow at the Franklin Institute, which I am super excited about! Please come out to one of the tables above if you are in the area, and show your support for the world’s most endangered marine mammal!

 

Crunch time

Vaquita conservation may never be the same. In a recent study, a remarkable discovery was made: the Vaquita, always considered to be a true porpoise, is actually more closely related to fish in the Psychrolutidae family, also known as blobfishes.

April fools! I’m sure most of you didn’t fall for that… Vaquita are still 100% mammals (and porpoises). On a more serious note, the 2-year ban on all gillnets in the Vaquita’s range officially begins TODAY, April 1 (this was not actually the case. The ban was delayed once again, but officially began on April 10, and is set to go into effect on April 28.) It is unfortunate that it took until now for it to start, but there is no point of harping on the past. The ban has started, and now it is crunch time for us. We need to keep the pressure on with petitions (see previous post) to make sure they strictly enforce the ban. The recovery of the Vaquita begins NOW.

Here’s a great video in Spanish (with English subtitles) by Greenpeace with some wonderful visuals!

International Save the Vaquita Day 2015 is officially July 11, and you can read more about it here: http://www.vivavaquita.org/international-save-the-vaquita-day.htmlISTVD Logo The International A-Team for Wildlife is an organization dedicated to educating the public about endangered animals and encouraging youth to participate in conservation. The group has a select “A-Team,” a group of 18 kids from around the world that have extensive experience and accomplishments in wildlife conservation. I am honored to be one of those 18 kids! http://www.a-teamforwildlife.org/international-team/ AidanB-ProfilePic

We can save the Vaquita! If we work together, we can keep gillnets out of their range…for good.