Target: Rafael Pacchiano Alamán, Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, Mexico
Goal: Thank the Mexican environmental ministry for securing funds necessary to protect vaquitas and allow them to reproduce.
Scientists estimate that only 30 vaquita porpoises remain in the wild in a tiny region of the northern Gulf of California. Illegal gill net fishing for the totoaba fish is responsible for the marine mammal’s shocking decline. Concern for the vaquita’s future has prompted public outcry from activists and animal lovers worldwide, including petitions such as this one from ForceChange.
At last, the Mexican government has announced a last ditch plan to intervene and help protect the remaining vaquitas from becoming ensnared in gill nets. The secured $3 million in funds will help construct large sea pen refuges for the porpoises to breed without the risk of becoming ensnared in the sprawling gill net death traps found throughout the Gulf of California.
While this intervention may be the only way vaquitas can be saved from the threat of immediate extinction, and we should applaud their efforts, a long term solution is needed as well. The only way the vaquita can survive in its native habitat is if the gill nets are permanently banned and existing laws prohibiting the fishing of totoaba are enforced.
Sign this petition to thank the Mexican environmental ministry for securing funds which will help protect the remaining vaquitas and encourage them to reproduce safely, while providing a reminder that this is only a partial solution for ensuring the vaquita’s survival.
Dear Mr. Alamán,
With only 30 vaquita porpoises remaining in the world, the future has seemed bleak for the world’s smallest and most endangered cetacean. Your ministry’s successful efforts to secure funding needed to construct sea pens to protect the vaquita from illegal gill nets is great news, and will hopefully allow the porpoises to breed in safety.
However important these sea pens are for the immediate protection of the vaquita, scientists agree that the only way to save this species long-term is to completely eliminate gill net fishing. While I want to thank you for taking this necessary measure to protect the remaining few porpoises, I urge you to do more to enforce the existing laws that prohibit gill net fishing for the totoaba in the Gulf of California. With these two measures in place, the vaquita may still have a chance.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: SEMARNAT