[MARMAM] Washington DC Mexican Embassy Vaquita Rally, July 9 2015
dreeblet at gmail.com
Sun Jun 28 18:40:04 PDT 2015
Dear MARMAM subscribers,
In 2015, the vaquita are facing extinction as by-catch. Just a 4-hour
drive from San Diego. *79* *individuals remain*. The only time they have
left, is now. The marine mammal community needs to raise it's voice against
this pointless extirpation of the vaquita and be part of ensuring the
*International Save the Vaquita Day 2015 - **Washington DC Event, July 9
*For more locations please see:
The vaquita is the world’s smallest and most endangered porpoise, found
only in Mexico’s northern Gulf of California. *79 individuals* are believed
to remain and in an effort to save them a rally will take place outside the
Mexican Embassy in Washington, DC, to bring attention to their plight as
part of the *International Save the Vaquita Day 2015. *The purpose of the
rally is to thank the Mexican government for imposing a two-year gill net
fishing ban and improving enforcement in the vaquita’s habitat, and urging
the country make the ban permanent and increase enforcement measures.
*Where – *Mexican Embassy, 1911 Pennsylvania Ave NW
*When – *July 9, 2015, 8-10am
*Nearest Metro station *– Farragut West (blue, orange, silver lines)
*What to wear *– all participants will receive a free *¡Viva La
*T-shirt (while supplies last)
*What to bring *– water, sunscreen, enthusiasm!
*RSVP *–info at awionline.org
Fishing gear is the biggest threat to vaquitas. They often drown after
becoming entangled in shrimp nets or in illegal gillnets set for totoaba,
an endangered fish that is also only found only in the Gulf of California.
The totoaba’s swim bladder is illegally exported to Asia to make soup and
for unproven traditional medicine treatments. Demand for totoaba bladders
has recently spiked, with a single bladder fetching up to US$14,000.
After years of international pressure, particularly from the scientific
community, Mexico announced a two-year ban on most gillnets in the norther
Gulf of California in April, and promised to increase enforcement action
against the growing illegal totoaba fishery. While Mexico's actions are
commendable, experts assert that a *permanent* ban on nets in the Gulf and
rigorous enforcement of that ban are necessary to save the vaquita.
Groups have recently urged that the Gulf of California World Heritage
site—designated as such largely to protect the vaquita and the totoaba—be
officially declared “in danger” by the United Nations. There has also been
an appeal to the Obama administration to impose trade sanctions against
Mexico to stop the country’s illegal totoaba fishery. That could include a
prohibition on the import of shrimp from Mexico.
A new population survey for vaquita by US and Mexican scientists is
scheduled to start in September, around the time that fishing activity, and
consequently vaquita mortality, will be peaking. In all likelihood, the
survey will produce disappointing news.
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