Stop the Demand
The Earth League International is a nonprofit organization entirely focused on intelligence collection and investigation of wildlife trafficking. ELI’s efforts support law enforcement and government agencies in their fight against wildlife crime. ELI is working to address the root of the problem in the fight to save vaquitas through Operation Fake Gold. The team continues to gather information and investigate onsite in Mexico, China, and the US; evaluate information with their crime analysts and intelligence experts; and produce both public and confidential intelligence reports for government and law enforcement authorities in all three countries. ELI aims to create sustainable, long-term change through providing the information necessary to spark concrete actions addressing the demand and market for totoaba.
Funding Urgently Needed
Donate today to support the field effortS and ongoing conservation measures to protect vaquitas. VaquitaCPR is currently fundraising to directly support Project Esperanza's conservation activities led by Museo de la Ballena.
Critical Update – Summer 2021: The conservation actions below remain important to vaquita conservation; however, they have been impacted by the Mexican government’s decision to lift the fishing ban in the vaquita refuge. VaquitaCPR and Project Esperanza are now directing support to Earth League International’s current efforts to combat the wildlife crime that is driving the decline of the vaquita population and to ongoing acoustic monitoring efforts.
Photo-identification will allow scientists to identify individual animals, improve our understanding of vaquitas’ life history, particularly survival rates, and estimate the minimum number of vaquitas that are alive today.
Additionally, opportunistic remote tissue sampling will provide essential living material from vaquitas. Live cells will be transported to San Diego Zoo Global’s Frozen Zoo so that future options can be considered for recovery of this endangered species. Tissue will also be transported to NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center for DNA studies to study their genetic strength and diversity.
These conservation initiatives have been recommended by CIRVA and endorsed by the Scientific Committee of the IWC. Through these initiatives, Project Esperanza aims to support local fishers and organizations working to implement and enhance these efforts.
LATEST NEWS FROM THE FIELD
VAQUITA EXPEDITION UPDATE: Vaquita mother and calf sighted! The team is hopeful after sighting this pair. Vaquitas have a chance to rebound. Please support ongoing conservation efforts through VaquitaCPR’s Project Esperanza by making a donation.
VaquitaCPR’s Project Esperanza is also urgently working to raise global awareness of the vaquita crisis. Today, vaquitas are navigating the dangerous waters of the Upper Gulf of California, where gillnets have already taken countless vaquita lives. Unless we gain the world’s support to solve these difficult problems, the last vaquitas will drown in gillnets. Project Esperanza aims to inform and inspire the public to start a conversation about the vaquita crisis and engage in meaningful conservation efforts locally and globally. Saving a species will take each and every one of us – working together to create healthy oceans and thriving coastal communities.
What can you do?
Use your voice
We owe it to each of the remaining vaquitas to sound an alarm that is heard round the world. Help us tell their story. Talk about vaquitas that are drowning, fishermen who are struggling, and the illegal fishery that is to blame. Talk about it at the water cooler and at the dinner table. And talk about how we still have time to pull them back from the edge of extinction. Then start sharing. Tweet it, post it, and blog it. #vaquitacpr @vaquitacpr
Use your heart
You can make a difference today by supporting VaquitaCPR’s Project Esperanza. Your contribution will directly support the current critical conservation efforts aimed at bringing vaquitas back from the brink of extinction.
Use your mind
Open your mind to the benefits of choosing sustainably-caught seafood. Talk to your local restaurants, grocers, and other seafood providers about the importance of sustainable fisheries. Increasing the demand for sustainable seafood will support the creation of alternative fishing methods that protect oceans and ecosystems all over the world.
Paco Valverde Fund
A multi-institutional effort is underway in the Upper Gulf of California to remove deadly gillnets from the waters that are posing a threat to vaquitas and other aquatic animals. Currently, organizations such as Museo de la Ballena, the Mexican Ministry of the Environment, the Mexican Navy, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) are working together with a team of local fishers to find and remove illegal nets. VaquitaCPR’s Project Esperanza is directly supporting the net-pulling efforts of the Museo de la Ballena to ensure continuation of operations to clear dangerous gillnets from the vaquitas habitat. Project Esperanza aims to provide the species with a chance at survival, while also supporting the good work of local fishers and organizations working together to make a difference.