In order to save the Vaquita all the gill nets must come out of their habitat very quickly. Saving this species will require substantial financial resources, support for the communities, fishermen that are making the needed changes, constant and vigilant enforcement. If successful, saving the vaquita will provide another example that eco-tourism works with humans and porpoises sharing coastal waters.
Scientists agree that the only solution to this dire problem is to totally eliminate fishing with gillnets in the vaquita habitat. This can be accomplished through a combination of buying out some fishermen and converting them to other livelihoods and compensating remaining fishermen to use alternative fishing methods that do not endanger the vaquita.
Without precedence anywhere in the world, Mexico is responding to the urgent need for action. Fishermen are voluntarily giving up their rights to fish in the region in order to save the vaquita, with a compensation program to buy them out. This calls for tremendous sacrifice on their part and presents many challenges as they try to define their new livelihoods. The Mexican government has set aside approximately 70% of the vaquita habitat as a “no fishing” zone.
Concerned non-governmental agencies and foundations seek to encourage and assist the Mexican government and fishermen to immediately take the necessary steps to save this most endangered marine mammal.
Because of the world economic recession the government of Mexico has not been able to implement this compensation program of buying harmful fishing nets. Private citizens and corporations are urged to make donations to assist both government and scientific organizations involved with the saving of Vaquita.
Save The Vaquita plans to raise funds through donations to purchase these harmful nets and provide local fisherman to use porpoise safe netting. We also plan to assist some fisherman to find other careers that are more profitable and will provide income for their families.
Donations maybe sent to:
The International Exploration Society
Save The Vaquita Project
P.O. Box 347
Ardmore, PA 19003