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Save the Last Vaquita © Thomas A. Jefferson

Gulf of California: Save the Last Vaquita

Together, we can protect the Gulf of California World Heritage site, home to the critically endangered vaquita.

Recently, the President of Mexico committed to enforcing a permanent ban on gillnets in the Upper Gulf of California—the single biggest contributing factor to the vaquita's decline. The gillnet ban was one of our top campaign asks and thanks in part to 200,000 WWF Activists from around the world, vaquita may now have a fighting chance.

Joining the President of Mexico and signing on to an agreement to help support emergency measures to conserve the critically endangered vaquita and the Upper Gulf of California ecosystem were the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and the Carlos Slim Foundation. The agreement is a major step forward in the effort to save the vaquita population from extinction.

Now, we must urge the development of a comprehensive vaquita recovery plan. Take Action Today. Send a message to the President of Mexico now.

Dear President Peña Nieto,

Thank you for your commitment to permanently ban gillnets in the Upper Gulf. I encourage you to take immediate action to secure long-term protection of the Gulf of California World Heritage site, home of the last vaquita, as a positive legacy of your leadership.

The Gulf of California is our shared heritage. Please save:

Rare Wildlife. The upper Gulf of California is the only place where vaquita live. To prevent the vaquita's extinction and protect this extraordinary ecosystem, the following urgent actions are needed:

  1. - Immediate authorization of the use and promotion of existing alternative fishing gear (not allowed under current law/regulations), while new sustainable fishing techniques are being developed
  2. - Clearly articulated prohibition on the transport and/or possession of gillnets in and around the Upper Gulf of California
  3. - Urgent, coordinated efforts by the Mexican, US, and Chinese governments to end the illegal trafficking of totoaba swim bladders that is driving rampant use of gillnets in the Upper Gulf of California

Local Livelihoods. Support for local fishing communities is key to saving the vaquita. Due to lack of enforcement, illegal and unsustainable fishing is decimating the Gulf's once-thriving waters and putting people's livelihoods at risk. It is critical to work with local communities for sustainable fisheries management, including the adoption of gillnet alternatives.

The Environment. The Gulf of California is home to a spectacular array of wildlife, including the vaquita—the world's most endangered marine mammal. Unless the threats leading to the critical decline in the vaquita population are removed, the Gulf of California could be placed on UNESCO's List of World Heritage in Danger. And the world will forever lose this species.

As a champion of the Gulf of California and vaquita, I urge you to take further action now.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

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Gulf of California: Save the Last Vaquita

Dear President Pina Nieto President Pena Nieto,

I encourage you to take immediate action to secure long-term protection of the Gulf of California World Heritage site, home of the last vaquita.

Rare Wildlife. The upper Gulf of California is the only place where vaquita live. You have been a champion of the species in the past. To prevent the vaquita's extinction and protect this extraordinary ecosystem, the following urgent actions are needed: a permanent gillnet ban, development of fishing alternatives and effective enforcement to halt illegal gillnet fishing (because vaquita are also caught as bycatch), and stopping of the illegal totoaba trade from Mexico to China.

Local Livelihoods. Support for local fishing communities is key to saving the vaquita. Due to lack of enforcement, illegal and unsustainable fishing is decimating the Gulf's once-thriving waters and putting people's livelihoods at risk. It is critical to work with local communities for sustainable fisheries management, including the adoption of gillnet alternatives.

The Environment. The Gulf of California is home to a spectacular array of wildlife, including the vaquita--the world's most endangered marine mammal. Unless the threats leading to the critical decline in the vaquita population are removed, the Gulf of California could be placed on UNESCO's List of World Heritage in Danger. And the world will forever lose this species.

As a champion of the Gulf of California and vaquita, I urge you to take action now.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]