PETITION TARGETS: Biden Administration, Mexican Government, Mexican Ambassador to the US
Critically endangered vaquitas are facing slow and torturous deaths trapped inside illegal gillnets in Mexico — and we could soon lose this precious species if we don’t act now!
Scientists estimate that less than 15 of the playful and intelligent porpoises remain in the wild, with illegal fishing in Mexico for another imperiled species — the totoaba — a key threat to both species’ survival.
Mexico promised to ban totoaba fishing and gillnets back in 2016. But recent investigations have exposed that hundreds of pounds of totoaba swim bladders have been trafficked through the United States on their way to China, where they are in demand.
Other investigations have reported that on a single 2-day stretch in April, a whopping 69 vessels likely were using banned gillnets in vaquita habitat.
The United States has promised to enter into a “dialogue” with Mexico about better protecting vaquitas and reassess vaquita survival in 2024 – but that’s not enough.
History has shown that Mexico’s failure to enforce fishing and wildlife trade laws has contributed to a decline of more than 600 wild vaquitas in 1997 to the estimated 8 to 12 left today. Recent federal review also has indicated that Mexico still has not fully implemented its 2020 regulations to address illegal fishing.
Scientists have predicted vaquitas can recover — but only if we act now to protect these precious marine animals for future generations.
Sign our petition urging the United States and Mexico to immediately do more to protect vaquitas and totoaba — including for the US to immediately issue trade sanctions should violations continue to occur.
Vaquitas and totoaba don’t have any more time for meaningful and decisive action to be taken on their behalf.