What was the issue?
The Upper Gulf of California is home to a spectacular array of wildlife, including the vaquita – the world’s most endangered marine mammal.
But gillnets used for fishing were trapping vaquitas and other marine animals, while illegal and unsustainable fishing was decimating the Gulf’s once-thriving waters and putting people’s livelihoods at risk. With fewer than 30 vaquitas thought to be remaining, we knew urgent action was needed.
What we did
We launched an emergency campaign push, asking people around the world to speak up for vaquitas – and you stepped up. Nearly 250,000 people from right across the globe emailed the Mexican president, urging him to take action to protect our shared heritage.
What we achieved
By showing just how many people cared about the future of the vaquita, we had a real impact. Last year, the Mexican government signed an agreement which set out emergency actions to protect the remaining vaquitas. This included a permanent ban on gillnets in vaquita habitat, as well as the development of new fishing gear and techniques to allow local communities to fish legally and sustainably. This is a huge boost to the World Heritage site and the species that live there.
With vaquita numbers so perilously low, sadly even these emergency measures may not be enough. But the ban demonstrates what can be achieved when we come together, and shows that we can act to protect threatened species and habitats.
With your help, we can continue to fight for our planet. Join our passionate community of supporters helping to protect our planet.