Fifty vaquitas left, no, thirty, wait…seven more found dead in the last few months. The news is bleak for vaquitas as the population continues to decline.
A vaquita is a porpoise and the most endangered whale in the world. Less than 30 survive.
Efforts to stop illegal fishing of the (critically endangered) totoaba and use of gillnets has been at the forefront of scientists and the Mexican Government. Unfortunately, vaquitas (and totoabas) continue to die. With the latest CIRVA report, scientists now believe the only way to save vaquita from extinction is to try to capture the porpoises and put them in safety away from gillnets. “The Mexican government and its conservation partners have organized a live capture effort to try to save the vaquita from extinction….” Read more in this Vaquita Update (courtesy of the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
Our Celebration of Conservation highlights three important marine conservation stories – two successful stories and one still being written. As part of TEAM VAQUITA, students learn about gray whales, elephant seals, and vaquita. Gray whales and elephant seals were once so close extinction it’s amazing either species survived. Due to protection efforts and public awareness, both species are thriving. Both have been delisted (removed) from the endangered species list. Vaquita, a kind of porpoise, needs that same kind of happy ending. It is the most endangered whale in the world. There are only 30 vaquita left in the world.
To register or find out more, check out the list below and contact the museum or science center near you.
In February, WhaleTimes Director Ruth Musgrave joined the DEEPEND Science Team at the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Ecosystem (GoMOSES) annual conference in New Orleans. Several members of the DEEPEND Science Team presented their research through talks, papers, and posters. After the conference concluded, the Team met for their annual all-hands meeting.
Our annual DEEPEND meetings are a fast-paced day when Science Team members shares their latest research and plans. Groups worked together to discuss the research and next steps. Watching the scientists collaborate was an amazing time to see the scientific process in action. So much news. Keep up with the DEEPEND Science Team members and find out more about the latest news at: deependconsortium.org.
Ruth Musgrave, Director of WhaleTimes at Outreach/Education Poster Sesson
Tammy Frank and Heather Judkins
DEEPEND Team listening to research updates
Rosanna Milligan sharing the latest on DEEPEND’s deep-sea fish research
April Cook and Squirt
Tammy Frank and Richard Hartland
Dante Fenolio, Travis Richards, Cole Easson, and Jose Lopez
Laura Timm and Heather Bracken-Grissom
DEEPEND Outreach/Education Poster
Kevin Boswell shares findings from DEEPEND research
“Four days, 25 schools, 525 kids…and it was awesome!” said WhaleTimes Director, Ruth Musgrave. Deep-sea expert Dr. Tamara Frank (Nova Southeastern University) and Musgrave spent the week in Broward County Florida visiting 1st to 6th grade classrooms as part of a National Science Foundation grant. “We had a blast using music to teach about DNA sequencing, secret light codes to introduce communication of bioluminescent animals, and what it’s like to see through a deep-sea animal’s eyes.” adds Musgrave.
The school visits, entitled, “Deep See in the Deep Sea” share the on-going research of Dr. Frank and Dr. Heather Bracken Grissom (Florida International University) who are studying the evolution of bioluminescence and light detection in deep-sea shrimp.
“We can’t wait to go back next year and meet more of the incredible kids from Broward County to share our latest discoveries.” said Tamara Frank
Special thanks to STEM teacher Michele Parsons who helped us coordinate the program and find such amazing schools and motivated students.
WhaleTimes Director Ruth Musgrave with life size model of vaquita.
WhaleTimes’ volunteers spent a wonderful day at the Oregon Coast Aquarium helping raise awareness of the vaquita and how people can help save them. Most people were unaware of this adorable little porpoise. But were ready to join us and become part of TEAM VAQUITA. You can become part of TEAM VAQUITA, too. One way to help vaquita and other ocean animals is to demand sustainable seafood. If the restaurant or store doesn’t sell sustainable seafood, simply eat or buy something else. Save vaquita and other ocean animals by voting with your dollars.
Join us throughout 2017 to celebrate the Year of the Vaquita, raise awareness and save this beautiful little porpoise.
Join WhaleTimes, Oregon Coast Aquarium’s Oceanscape Network, and Southwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries as we celebrate 2017 Year of the Vaquita and Save the Vaquita Month every March. Don’t just join us, make a difference. DEMAND sustainable, traceable seafood.