Vaquita: Landmark Fisheries Management Accord Reached in Hermosillo!

Since it is Save the Vaquita Month, we thought we’d share this news with you.


Press Release from The Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans (CEDO) “Healthy Ecosystems AND Vibrant Communities”

On February 27, 2018, in Hermosillo, Sonora, MX, the Intercultural Center for Desert and Ocean Studies (CEDO) and fisheries authorities from the Mexican National Commission of Agriculture and Fisheries (CONAPESCA) and National Institution for Fisheries and Aquaculture (INAPESCA) met with Sonoran fishermen to seal their commitment to fishing sustainably in a region known as the “Puerto Peñasco to Puerto Lobos Biological and Fisheries Corridor.” This is a leap forward for the conservation of natural resources and ecosystem services in the upper Gulf of California, which has been infamous for the inter-sector challenges and conflicts associated with preventing the extinction of the vaquita marina (Phocoena sinus) and lucrative, illegal fishery for the endangered totoaba, of which the vaquita is collateral damage. Without ignoring this difficult situation, CEDO has moved its focus towards an area that years ago reached out for help in order to establish an ordered, equitable and sustainable artisanal fishing industry.

 Participants at the meeting included municipal, state, and federal government officials, environmental and academic organizations, and artisanal fishermen representing six fishing communities including Puerto Penasco, Bahia San Jorge, Santo Tomas, Desemboque, and Puerto Lobos. All parties agreed to formalize the Corridor as a special area for the integrated management of coastal fisheries and the habitats that sustain them.

 Tens of thousands of artisanal fishermen depend on the highly productive waters of the Corridor ecosystem, which sustains more than 50 commercial species, including crab, snail, elasmobranchs, and scale fish. For the past three years these communities have been compiling, analyzing and building consensus for establishing a network of Fisheries Refuge Zones, community-based management areas, catch-quotas, and permits that strengthen fishing rights and keep extraction at sustainable levels. It is now clearer than ever to the fishermen of the Corridor that sustainable and resilient fisheries require a healthy and productive environment.

 CEDO, a Tucson and Puerto Peñasco based environmental non-profit organization, working in the region for the past 38 years, has succeeded in engaging small scale fishermen with scientists and decision-makers in order to find reasonable solutions to the complex problems that surround this chaotic industry. In contrast to the top-down approach taken in the upper northern Gulf to prevent vaquita mortality, the Corridor Program focuses on buffering the primary economic activity currently sustaining local communities: Fishing.

 The Corridor Program builds on fishermen’s experiential knowledge, fine-scale ecosystem and species-specific data that fishermen have helped to collect, and good relationships among different sectors, to facilitate a transparent and participatory process known as Coastal-Marine Spatial Planning. In the near future, CEDO hopes to bring other stakeholders into this framework to reduce future conflicts and maintain high standards of environmental and community well-being. CEDO also aims to create clear market incentives that reward fishermen who work according to best management practices, bringing sustainable seafood to communities like Tucson where it is in high demand.

 For more information, visit CEDO at cedointercultural.org


Saving vaquita and other ocean animals is also up to you. Be vocal about protecting these animals, raise awareness of the horrible effects of black market/illegal fisheries, and where you can have the biggest impact is to demand sustainable seafood when you buy or eat seafood.  To learn more, check out our What is Sustainability fact sheet.

Summer Camp 2018: Sharks vs People

WhaleTimes announces this year’s summer camp, SHARKS VS PEOPLE. Great whites make headlines. Hammerheads send chills down the spine. Even the prehistoric (and extinct) Megaladon shark has attained legendary status as a monster. The truth is, you’re more likely to become a professional football player, injure yourself fixing the toilet, or get a spider bite than attacked by a shark. More than 500 sharks roam the seas (and some rivers). Some are longer than a school bus. Others swim faster than a killer whale. Some sharks can change color. Many glow in the dark! Sharks’ undeserved fearsome reputation overshadows the real story. The most dangerous animal in the sea is people, not sharks. Many shark species are threatened or endangered. They need our help to save them.  Find out how in this fun and exciting class.

WhaleTimes’ Sharks vs People Summer Camp introduces kids to shark adaptations and species. Throughout this program, special guest Ruth A. Musgrave, author of MISSION SHARK RESCUE  (National Geographic Children’s Books) and EVERYTHING SHARKS (National Geographic Children’s Books), shares her love of sharks, introduces amazing sharks, the scientists who study them, and empowers kids to help save sharks.

This program offered through museums and science centers throughout the country.

Fintastic Friday is here!

Friday May 13, 2016 is an important holiday, Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks, Skates, and Rays a Voice!

WhaleTimes created Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks, Skates, and Rays a Voice to help raise awareness and encourage advocacy to protect elasmobranchs. Fintastic Friday SKATE Courtesy NOAA Ocean Explorer wbsmThis special annual holiday is celebrated worldwide.

Humans are not doing their job to protect sharks. Movies, books, and news outlets have created and perpetuated a false, but stereotypical view of sharks. This misguided hatred has caused a lack of compassion  or understanding about sharks’ significant role in the health of the ocean. People hear even less about skates and rays.

On average, only 10 people are killed by sharks a year — in the entire world. BUT people kill more than 11,000 sharks EVERY HOUR of every day. Can you imagine people remaining mum if that number were whales? Dolphins? Penguins? Or some other popular species? Never.

We’ll say it again,  People are not doing their best to protect sharks.

WhaleTimes believes kids are the future of sharks. No one is louder and more enthusiastic than a kid who cares. Kids love sharks. They haven’t seen the movies or heard the skewed, sensationalized, and poorly researched news clips. We want kids from all over the world cheering, SAVE THE SHARKS on this special holiday and every day.

Find out how to celebrate and protect sharks today!

Creep into the Deepend!

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WhaleTimes is excited to be part of the DEEPEND Project

…a consortium of amazing scientists and organizations studying the Gulf of Mexico deep sea. WhaleTimes will share that science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)  to you through our Creep into the Deep Virtual Research Missions, Postcards from the Deep, Taking Science Deeper Curriculum, and so much more.

Our first Postcards from the Deep…End  arriving this spring.

Our first Creep into the Deep…End cruise, this fall.

Joins WhaleTimes at the DEEPEND, no floaties required!

DEEPEND research, outreach,  and education funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative. Thank you!

Learn more about the DEEPEND funding at: http://research.gulfresearchinitiative.org/research-awards/projects/?pid=257

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Dudley here!

Hi Kids,  my name’s Dudley, I’m a friend of Jake, the SeaDog™. She asked me to join the WhaleTimes Team. Walrus Courtesy  NOAA WhaleTimes websm

I’m a walrus.  I’m a big guy.  I weight about 1,700 lbs and I’m 7.25 feet long. Some of my friends are even bigger reaching 11.5 feet long.  I love to eat. My favorite food…clams. I could eat a ton of them.

Like you, I love the ocean. I will be sharing interesting stories, facts, and fun activities Jake and I discover along the way.

That’s a little about me. I’ll be stopping by WhaleTimes  to give you more about myself and about other animals of the sea.  See you later!

Dudley