Thursday, August 11, 2005

ENV: Vaquita news

VICTORY FOR ENDANGERED PORPOISE

BioGems Defenders have helped fuel a major breakthrough in efforts to save the vaquita marina, a small porpoise found only in the Upper Gulf of California, Mexico. This spring, BioGems Defenders sent more than 35,000 messages to Mexico's chief shrimp exporter, California-based Ocean Garden, urging the company to help protect the fewer than 500 remaining vaquitas by promoting sustainable fishing in the region. Soon after, Ocean Garden met with NRDC staff and local fishermen, and in July, the fishing industry signed a landmark accord to prevent the accidental catch of vaquitas and more than 400 other species in fishing nets and to eliminate illegal fishing in the Upper Gulf. Meanwhile, Mexican President Vicente Fox has announced the creation of a new refuge in the vaquita's core habitat, and we will urge him to take action to fulfill this promise in keeping with the goals of the new accord. We'll keep you posted on the status of both of these initiatives.

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