The International Whaling Commission 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
At the CITES CoP17 meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, countries pledged to do more to curb poaching and illicit trade in totoaba fish which threatens the survival of the critically endangered vaquita porpoise. This is a positive sign but international cooperation is vital to ensure enforcement actions take place.
The vaquita’s plight as the world’s most endangered cetacean species is not due to direct threats such as hunting. Instead, its plummeting numbers are due to indiscriminate killing in illegal gillnets used to poach critically endangered totoaba fish
With distinctive markings around its mouth and eyes, the vaquita is one of the world’s most iconic marine mammal species – but with fewer than 60 left, it is doomed to extinction in the very near future unless immediate and meaningful action is taken
A recent survey by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) of marine product sellers in southern China and Hong Kong revealed a continuing illegal trade in a banned fish species which, if left unchecked, will lead to the extinction of the vaquita – the world’s most endangered marine mammal.