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Vaquita special appeal, August 2022

The Plan

The Mexican Government has established a Zero Tolerance Area (ZTA) to protect the Vaquita and the Mexican Navy is now installing submerged devices to capture illegal nets within the ZTA. What is needed is the ability to promptly remove snagged nets to avoid entrapping marine life. The plan is raise the extra funds needed to enable community Sea Scouts to undertake the work of finding and removing snagged nets. Sea Scouts also have a role in warning fishermen away from the ZTA so that they don’t lose their nets. These actions are needed immediately before shrimp season begins in September.

Why it matters

The vaquita porpoise (Phocoena sinus, CR) is the most endangered marine mammal on Earth with as few as 8 to 10 likely remaining as of November 2021. The rapid decline of its population from thousands to fewer than 10 is due to illegal gill-netting of the Totoaba (Totoaba macdonaldi), a similar-sized (1-meter) fish. The swim bladder of the totoaba fetches tens of thousands of dollars in China. Illegal gill-netting in the vaquita reserve’s No Take Zone is also depleting others marine sea life, including the totoaba (VU).

Funds needed

US$30,000 before the end of August 2022. Help at any level will be appreciated.

Field partner

Pronatura Noroeste

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