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

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.

Virtual Research Mission blogs

Celebration of Conservation and Creep into the DEEPEND Seamails™

Welcome Teachers. This month we’re posting some of the Seamails and activities from our most recent Virtual Research Missions: Celebration of Conservation and Creep into the DEEPEND.  We’ll post the email from the Science Team member, plus photos, videos, activities, Explorer mini-posters (bios) or other related information or links. For our programs, teachers pick and choose, mix and match the Seamails, photos, activities…etc. how ever you would like to use them with your class. (We put the blog — aka Seamail in pdf format for ease of use in the classroom.)

Here’s the first one from Dave Weller from  the Celebration of Conservation: Gray Whales, Elephant Seals, and Vaquita. Enjoy

Celebration of Conservation Highlights:


(NOTE: For classroom use only. Seamails, photos, activities and other related curricula are copyrighted and trademarked and cannot be sold, posted, repackaged, or used in any other way without written permission of WhaleTimes, Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

Sneak Peak at Save the Vaquita Curriculum

Here  is a sneak peak at two of our beautifully illustrated fact pages from our new Save the Vaquita k-5 Curriculum. Thank you to our talented illustrator Paul J. Lopez, for making the shy vaquita and totoaba stars! The curriculum is part of our Year of the Vaquita  program and  our Celebration of Conservation Virtual Research Mission 

Join TEAM VAQUITA and helps us raise awareness of vaquita,, totoaba, and how eating sustainable seafood can help save ocean animal.

 For more information on our Save the Vaquita program or if you are a teacher and would like to participate in our Celebration of Conservation program in March, contact us at   savethevaquita  at this URL


WhaleTimes introduces Year of the Vaquita


WhaleTimes Director Ruth Musgrave with life size model of vaquita.

WhaleTimes’ team-vaquita-copyright-whaletimes-all-rights-reservedvolunteers 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.

See 60 Minutes segment on Vaquitas

This 60 Minutes segment about vaquitas is a must watch!

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.

Year of the VaquitaWhaleTimesCopyrightBTaylor

savethevaquita {at} this website


Vaquitas on 60 Minutes this Sunday at 7 p.m.

Be sure to watch vaquitas and Dr. Barbara Taylor on 60 Minutes (7 p.m. episode) this Sunday! 60 Minutes joined Dr. Barbara Taylor from Southwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries on a recent population survey in the Gulf of California.

Year of the Vaquita WhaleTimes