This year, Saturday, July 11, 2015 has been designated as the Third Annual International Save the Vaquita Day!! This is intended to be an annual event similar to Earth Day, but with a specific focus on raising awareness and appreciation of the world’s most endangered marine mammal, the vaquita (Phocoena sinus). Events around the globe will direct the attention of people to the plight of this tiny porpoise species, and what needs to be done to save it from extinction. There will be booths, games, music, free prizes, educational brochures, talks, face painting, and several life-size models of vaquitas on hand to draw attention to and appreciation of the vaquita, Mexico’s “Panda of the Sea”.
The primary goal is to make as many people as possible aware of the vaquita and its plight, and spur them to act. The species is nearly extinct, with only about 80 individuals left, and is declining at almost 19% per year! We will have a simple message for folks about what they can do to help (either full support for the Mexican Government, or support for a boycott and embargo of Mexican seafood – depending on Mexico’s actions in the next month or so). Secondary goals are to gather signatures for our petitions to the Mexican government, and also to raise additional funds for future educational and research work on the vaquita. The event is designed to be fun, as well as educational, and kid-friendly!
Last year, there were 18 venues, in the United States, Mexico, Australia, and Europe. In 2015, we hope to have booths at all the same venues, plus many new ones. We will also have the participation of zoos, aquaria, and museums (for example, Sea World, Long Beach Aquarium, San Diego Zoo, and SD Natural History Museum). We also hope to attract media attention, so that the vaquita is covered on national and local news, thereby greatly expanding the number of people exposed. Please check our website regularly to learn the latest on the activities planned and venues details. We hope you will attend (or better yet, volunteer at) an event in your area.
Tom Jefferson / VIVA Vaquita