Here is an awesome article by WWF about the petition and resulting law that requires all gillnets to be switched out within the next 3 years. I cannot help but hold WWF mainly responsible for this amazing new breakthrough, considering 38,000 people from 127 countries signed their petition to the Mexican President, and that they helped create and test the nets that are now replacing gillnets. An amazing touch is that the article has a really neat map showing how many people from all around the world signed the petition with cool Vaquita graphics, courtesy of MapHook!
Also, below is a link to a QR Code to V-log. If you don’t know, a QR Code is a code that you can scan with your phone if you have one of the many QR scanner apps that automatically sends you to the site or product that the code is linked to. This is just another easy way to share or open my blog on your mobile phone. So please, share this post (click on the title of the post and then scroll down and use the sharing buttons, if you are on V-log) and scan the image with your phone. Also, I now have a Google Plus+ account, so if you guys would like to add me to your circles to get some new Vaquita updates, search Aidan Bodeo-Lomicky.
Great news! Not only does the Official Norm help the Vaquita by what the regulation actually says, but also by the publicity the Vaquita is getting from it. This was proven this morning when the first story in WWF’s monthly newsletter was about the Vaquita! If you didn’t get it, here’s what it said:
“World’s Smallest Porpoise Gets a Helping Hand
Found only in a small area of the upper Gulf of California, Mexico, Vaquitas probably number fewer than 200. This little porpoise—the world’s smallest—often becomes entangled and drowns in drift gillnets used by fishermen to catch fish and shrimp. WWF has been working for many years to address the threat of bycatch to the Vaquita, and in February over 38,000 people signed our petition for a gillnet ban in the porpoise’s habitat. This month the Mexican government took a major step in protecting this critically endangered species.
Find out how the government is helping >> http://wwf.worldwildlife.org/site/R?i=i9Ccsfa6mHtShsdgXHYB4g
On Facebook – http://wwf.worldwildlife.org/site/R?i=O7cYS_tXH_tIRYP_37rueQ
On Twitter – http://wwf.worldwildlife.org/site/R?i=NboT5STNa4FLl02F6PkEiQ
More About the Vaquita and Its Habitat: – A rare and elusive porpoise http://wwf.worldwildlife.org/site/R?i=KWnlwOIOE7qrHhwIE4Fx7g
– Working to eliminate bycatch http://wwf.worldwildlife.org/site/R?i=B8fR_5cl2Ytv_yJu6T-ouA
– About the Gulf of California http://wwf.worldwildlife.org/site/R?i=i9dZaa8zog3ZsfIBFTMPHQ“
Here is the WWF press release about the Official Norm that leading Vaquita scientist Lorenzo Rojas-Bracho sent me last night. It includes a great graphic of the Vaquita-safe trawl that will be put into use over the next 3 years. The leading experts and everyone else involved with the Vaquita are extremely excited and relieved by this new regulation, but our work is not done.
Vaquita – WWF-Mexico Press release 6 June 2013
About a week ago, the Mexican government took an enormous step in saving the Vaquita. The government has created something called the “Official Norm,” a regulation that plans on completely switching out all gillnets with Vaquita-safe trawls in the next 3 years. They hope to switch out 30% this year, 30% next year, and 40% in the third year. This giant step was taken due to the over 38,000 signatures on WWF’s petition to Enrique Peña Nieto, the Mexican president. Read WWF’s article about this landmark announcement: http://wwf.panda.org/wwf_news/?208988%2FMexico-approves-measure-to-save-worlds-rarest-marine-mammal.
To donate to the switch-out through the American Cetacean Society Los Angeles Chapter’s new switch-out charity, send a check by mail to: P.O. Box 1208, San Pedro, CA 90733-1208. It is very important that you write “Vaquita” on the memo line for it to go to the switch-out.
If you would like to help make the Official Norm successful, please copy, paste, and send this resolution created by the Muskwa Club to any member of the U.S. government that you can:
A Resolution to Support Mexico in its Effort to Prevent the Extinction of the Vaquita.
WHEREAS, The Vaquita is the most endangered marine mammal, with less than 200 individuals remaining, and is heavily threatened by incidental gillnet bycatch; and
WHEREAS, The Vaquita is likely to become extinct within the next several years; and
WHEREAS, It would not be acceptable for extinction of an intelligent and unique species to occur; and
WHEREAS, The government of Mexico has adopted an Official Norm to replace all shrimp gillnets within the Vaquita’s range with sustainable fishing gear within the next three years;
RESOLVED, That the Congress here assembled commends the government of Mexico for its step to save the Vaquita and strongly encourages the government thereof to successfully complete the program within the allotted time; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the government of the United States highly recommends that the government of Mexico develop sustainable finfishing gear as a further guarantor of the Vaquita’s survival.
Introduced for Congressional Debate by (will be filled in shortly).
I want to give a huge tribute to the amazing Mexican artist Memuco. His beautiful work has raised much awareness and money for the Vaquita over the last few years. His art is absolutely amazing. Please look him up or search him on this blog to see some of the things he has done. He has also been very kind to me, even volunteering to illustrate part of my chapter book!
I would also like to thank the awesome people at ¡Viva Vaquita!, Cetos, Save the Whales!, CEDO, the American Cetacean Society Monterey Bay Chapter, WWF, earthOCEAN, NOAA, and many more that I forgot the names of for working so hard to protect this amazing creature and for answering all of my questions.
I would finally like to thank Dr. Tom Jefferson for replying to every email I have sent him since I was ten. I remember when I used to send him about 5 emails a day. I have no idea how he stayed so patient with me. 🙂 He has always been my #1 resource on Vaquita info.
All of these people and organizations have played a huge part in inspiring me to do this blog and all of the other stuff that I’ve done over the last 3 years. I feel like I know all of these people so personally, yet I have never met any one of them. One day I hope to meet you awesome humans.
Please visit https://support.worldwildlife.org/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&cmd=display&page=ActionAlertTakenPage&id=681 to sign a petition to Mexico’s new president Enrique Peña Nieto to help the Vaquita. The petition is by WWF, so I don’t know if you need an account to sign it (I don’t think so, but I have an account so I signed). I have been looking for President Nieto’s email address all over for my petition, but can’t seem to find it. If anyone knows his email, please leave it in the comments so I can update my petition immediately! Thank you.
This is the picture shown as #5 on the WWF Top 2012 Endangered Species List
Click the link: http://news.yahoo.com/photos/wwf-s-top-2012-endangered-species-1325806837-slideshow/#crsl=%252Fphotos%252Fwwf-s-top-2012-endangered-species-1325806837-slideshow%252F-wwf-us-eugene-lee-photo-1325806257.html to see WWF’s top 10 list of endangered species to be on the look-out for in 2012. Even though the picture is depressing, it is vital for the species.