THE AQUARIUM OF THE PACIFIC WILL PARTICIPATE IN INTERNATIONAL SAVE THE VAQUITA DAY JULY 9
On International Save the Vaquita Day the Aquarium of the Pacific will be holding an event to bring light to the plight of Vaquita.
The Aquarium will host activities and education booths to build public awareness of the vaquita and the threats that have brought it to the brink of extinction. The Aquarium of the Pacific and a team of aquariums and zoos across the country are asking the public to get involved in a campaign to help this animal, the smallest cetacean (whale, dolphin, or porpoise) on the planet. The current vaquita population represents a decline of more than 92 percent since 1997. Unless Mexico extends the gillnet ban enacted in 2015 and enforces regulations to stop illegal fishing, the vaquita will be driven to extinction within five years, according to CIRVA.
Aquarium guests can support vaquita conservation by sharing the vaquita psa on social media, donating to conservation programs, and by supporting its Seafood for the Future program. Environmentally responsible seafood, including aquaculture, is key to the long-term success of the vaquita and many other marine animals. “We need to eat more of the right types of seafood to save marine species and support human and ocean health,” said Kim Thompson, Seafood for the Future program manager.
WHEN: Saturday, July 9, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m
WHERE: Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802
COST: $29.95 for adults (12+), $17.95 for children (3-11), $26.95 for seniors (62+), and free for children under three years old and Aquarium members.
INFO: For more information visit www.aquariumofpacific.org or www.seafoodforthefuture.org
More information on the Vaquita marina:
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
It is vital that consumers support the “Vaquita-Friendly” labeled seafood when it comes to the U.S. market. In the meantime, here’s what consumers can do to support conservation efforts for the vaquita and other species that may be impacted by unsustainable fishing practices:
* Ask where your seafood comes from and how it was caught.
Sustainable Fisheries Partnership: sustainablefish.org/
The Nature Conservancy: Resilient and Productive
You can also support businesses and restaurants that sell seafood from environmentally responsible sources. Find businesses and restaurants participating in responsible seafood sourcing programs at:
* Businesses: http://www.fishchoice.com/supplier_map
The vaquita is just one of many species impacted by human activities. Ten years ago, the Baiji river dolphin in China became the first known cetacean (whale, dolphin, or porpoise) to go extinct, likely due to unsustainable fishing practices.
Last year, the Mexican government instituted a two-year ban on all gillnet fishing within the vaquita’s range, but illegal fishing for totoaba, a large croaker (also endangered) continues. The totoaba is fished to meet the black market demand for its swim bladder, which is highly prized for its perceived medicinal attributes overseas. “If Mexico managed to solve this problem for vaquitas, it would set an example for other nations, showing that fishermen can fish sustainably and coexist with porpoises, dolphins, and other sea mammals,” says Barbara Taylor, co-chief scientist of the vaquita survey and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries biologist.
The Aquarium of the Pacific has been a leader in educating the public about the plight of the vaquita and is working with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to amplify conservation efforts for the vaquita among its more than 230 members through SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE). The goal of SAFE is to combine the power of AZA’s 183 million annual visitors with the resources and collective expertise of AZA members and partners to save animals, like the vaquita, from extinction. Learn more at: https://www.aza.org/SAFE/.