Tell CITES: Don’t Let the Last Eight Vaquita Die From Becoming Tangled in Fishing Gear!
Vaquita means “little cow” in Spanish, and it’s the name for the smallest porpoises on earth. These remarkable creatures, known for their silly, pig-like noises and friendly eyes, are shy and typically live around twenty years. They’re also the rarest mammals that live in the sea — it is estimated that there are only eight left! But the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) just voted to permit Earth Ocean farms to participate in the captive-bred trade of totoaba fish. In doing so, it may have doomed those last eight vaquita to die, meaning we could lose this species for eternity.
While it may seem that farming of captive totoaba would have nothing to do with wild vaquita out at sea, this legal form of totoaba production has historically led to dramatic increases in illegal, wild totoaba fishing. This wildlife trafficking industry uses gillnets, which are indiscriminate, picking up all sorts of different sea creatures far beyond what was intended. Our main concern? Gillnets often entangle vaquita, cutting into their skin, keeping them from surfacing for precious air that marine mammals need, and killing them.
We must put pressure on the Standing Committee of CITES to retroactively deny the permit offered to Earth Ocean farms. Sign the petition to tell international trade authorities that vaquitas matter, and we will not stand by and watch them go extinct!