Yesterday I posted that the Vaquita Expedition had just begun. Well, only 5 days in, and something incredible has already happened. Check out Dr. Barb Taylor’s message from only a few hours ago:
“So, the news will be out soon so I think I can let you Vaquita fans know. We saw 3 Vaquitas yesterday. Minister Pacchiano was due to come for an enforcement meeting in San Felipe and had a big visit orchestrated with the governor of Baja, the head of fisheries nationally (Mario Aguilar) and in Baja, a huge number of Navy brass, and the head of Profepa. Juan Carlos suggested that we go back to the spot we saw Vaquita yesterday to try to see them again. To make a long story short…we did (see 3 Vaquitas…Juan Carlos sighting) and I got the Minister on a pair of big eyes to see Vaquitas…and even Aguilar saw Vaquitas!
Just amazing! Those Vaquitas knew how important this was. They stayed in one place for about 20 minutes. They were still tiny triangles, but that just made the dignitaries all the more amazed that we found them.
I rode back in the super fast Navy boat with the governor of Baja in the co-pilot seat and pitched him the importance of making Baja a global example of solving the gillnet problem and working with California to develop markets to support Vaquita-friendly seafood. He basically translated that in the press conference that followed.
Needless to say…we’re all pretty excited. What are the odds?”
I hope this remarkable and inspirational event is an indicator of things to come on this ever-important survey.
If similar advancements are made in the near future, this expedition may prove to be the most pivotal moment in the fight to save this little porpoise.
The 2015 Vaquita survey and expedition has just begun! It will be a 70-day expedition hoping to photograph and get the most accurate population count of Vaquitas in years. It will also serve as a public awareness platform, with the best opportunity coming in the form of a special segment on the extremely popular CBS news show 60 Minutes. This survey will hopefully reignite the Mexican government’s interest in the conservation of this indescribably valuable species. It will also paint a clearer picture of what the situation is and what will need to be done. All in all, this expedition will be a fitting end to a very good year for the Vaquita, given the dire straits of the past few years. Our work has just begun, but nevertheless, it has begun. If you would like to donate to the expedition, please click below. Thank you so much.
Today, Saturday, July 6, is National Save the Vaquita Day. If there was ever a day to help the Vaquita, today’s the day. I am asking you to do your part to save the Vaquita, even if you only do something seemingly miniscule. For example, today I am riding my bike around my neighborhood, putting Vaquita flyers in people’s mailboxes (I couldn’t man the Virginia table due to travel reasons). To do your part today, you could attend a Vaquita table (click here for a list), donate through ¡Viva Vaquita!’s website, buy my book, post a status update about the Vaquita on a social network, fill out this survey with the Vaquita’s information and range (the northern Gulf of California, Mexico), ride your bike around your neighborhood with the printable, quarter-sheet flyers below, make a pledge to have a DVD (Daily Vaquita Duty), or any combination of those. I would love to hear your ideas about how you can help the Vaquita today and every other day, so please leave what you did today in the comments. Thank you so much for your participation in this vital new holiday.