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IWC calls for urgent action to save endangered vaquita

IWC calls for urgent action to save the critically endangered vaquita


PORTOROŽ: The International Whaling Commission (IWC) today joined the chorus of international voices calling for urgent action to save the Mexican vaquita porpoise from extinction.

The Resolution on the Critically Endangered Vaquita, proposed by the USA and European Union, was adopted by consensus at the IWC’s 66th meeting in Slovenia.

It expresses deep concern over the vaquita and states that “only a permanent, complete and effective gillnet ban in all fisheries operating in the Upper Gulf of California will prevent the imminent extinction of the vaquita.”

The IWC urged Mexico to eliminate any exemptions to the ban which might facilitate illegal trade in totoaba and called on all countries to strengthen enforcement efforts against the illegal totoaba trade, in particular those where totoaba products are consumed or in transit, including the USA and China.

Clare Perry, EIA Oceans Campaign Leader, said: “This is an important call to arms from the IWC, the world’s foremost authority on whales, dolphins and porpoises.

“We have very little time to save this species from vanishing on our watch – this Resolution, following on from recent decisions and resolutions of CITES and the IUCN, should force all countries to leave no stone unturned in their efforts to prevent extinction.

“With fewer than 60 vaquita left alive on the planet, the species doesn’t have the time for us to dither and compromise.”


  • Interviews are available on request; please contact Clare Perry via [email protected] or 020 (7) 354 7960.



  1. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) investigates and campaigns against environmental crime and abuses.
  1. Plight of the Ocean Sentinels – EIA briefing to the 66th Meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC)
  1. Collateral Damage – EIA report on how illegal trade in totoaba swim bladders is driving the vaquita to extinction.


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