Ich hatte schon einige Male hier im Blog auf die bedrohliche Situation des Kalifornischen Schweiswales, auch Golftümmler oder Vaquita genannt, hingewiesen, zuletzt im Mai in dem Beitrag „Kalifornischer Schweinswal vor dem Aussterben?“. Vieles ist beim Vaquita mit der Situation der Schweinswale in der Ostsee vergleichbar, beide haben massive Probleme mit den Stellnetzen. Beim Vaquita ist es nur noch problematischer, da hier nicht nur eine regionale Population einer Schweinswalart bedoht ist, sondern eine ganze Art. Der Vaquita ist kurz davor, seinem Verwandten, dem Baiji oder Yangtze River Dolphin zu folgen, der ersten Cetaceeenart, die als Folge menschlicher Aktivitäten ausgestorben ist.

Vor einigen Tagen erhielt DEEPWAVE e.V. die nachfolgende Mitteilung:

**** PRESS RELEASE ****

earthOCEAN Releases „Vaquita – Last Chance for the Desert Porpoise“

Documentary and social media website shines a light on the imminent extinction of the Vaquita porpoise in Mexico

Melbourne, AUSTRALIA, August 25, 2010 – earthOCEAN, a media company that uses cutting-edge new media technologies to communicate science, environmental and wildlife topics in ways that inspire and inform, has debuted a ground-breaking documentary film that investigates the imperiled status of the world’s rarest porpoise. The film entitled, „Vaquita – Last Chance for the Desert Porpoise,“ is available online at www.vaquita.tv.

Tucked away in the northern extremities of the Gulf of California in Mexico, lives the entire world population of the Vaquita porpoise. Its range is the smallest of any marine mammal – living in an area less than 40 square miles.

Filmmaker Chris Johnson of earthOCEAN had unprecedented access for three years to one of the world’s most grave marine conservation stories. In 2008, he joined the international scientific effort – Expedition Vaquita – to find and document any remaining animals in the region. He interviewed international conservation groups and met with local fishermen to find out what solutions, if any could be found in time.

Johnson notes: „We had two goals for the project – the first was to film and photograph the elusive Vaquita porpoise and document the people racing to help it survive. The second and most important, was to create a much-needed tool for outreach efforts to communicate scientific findings and conservation recommendations for the Vaquita, while addressing the challenges for people in local communities.“

In recent years human pressures have taken an enormous toll on the desert porpoise. Gill nets – nearly invisible fishing nets set in the water like curtains and often left unattended by coastal fishers primarily fishing for shrimp – are the greatest single cause of Vaquita mortality. Vaquita become entangled and drown when they accidentally swim into the nets.

Tim Ragen, Executive Director of the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission, a supporter of the multimedia project says – „Chris brings an essential, balanced perspective to a complex issue fraught with socio-economic challenges. His efforts will increase awareness of people around the world regarding the plight of this highly endangered species.“

Vaquita aren’t the intended target of any fishery, they are merely the bycatch of local fishers trying to earn a living and feed their families. For the fishers of El Golfo de Santa Clara, San Felipe and Puerto Penasco, the Vaquita is collateral damage.

The Vaquita is sliding ever closer to the edge of oblivion where it is on course to join its cousin; the Baiji. The Baiji, also known as the Yangtze River dolphin, lived only in China in the Yangtze River. In 2007, it is the first cetacean species to be declared extinct in modern times, as a direct result of human activities.

To watch the documentary online, follow updates about the vaquita, and read blogs from various experts visit the website – www.vaquita.tv

In September 2010, earthOCEAN will freely give DVDs through partners to local communities of El Golfo de Santa Clara, and San Felipe Mexico so people with limited internet access can watch this story, and make a decision about the importance of the Vaquita to the biodiversity of the region.

„Vaquita – Last Chance for the Desert Porpoise“ is supported by grants from The Ocean Foundation and United States Marine Mammal Commission with support from scientific and conservation partners – NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center in the United States and in Mexico Instituto Nacional de Ecología, Noereste Sustentable, CEDO – Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans and WWF Mexico.

Mark J. Spalding, President of The Ocean Foundation and active in Vaquita conservation for 25 years, says the documentary is „beautiful and made me fall in love with this unique animal all over again.“ Spalding expressed that „we have confidence that this film will convince people that this rare and elusive animal is a Mexican treasure worth saving.“

Press Contact:
Steph Johnson
+1 917-805-6925 (New York, NY USA)
Email: media@earthocean.tv
Web: www.earthocean.tv

Links:

Vaquita – Last Chance for the Deryert Porpoise

Vaquita – Last Chance for the Desert Porpoise auf Facebook

¡VIVA Vaquita! Long Live the Vaquita!

¡Viva Vaquita! auf Facebook
Dort gibt es aktuall den folgenden Aufruf:

Please send a message to the Mexican government to show your support for the vaquita! Below are the most relevant agencies and links to their online suggestion boxes:
SEMARNAT (Ministry of Natural Resources)
http://www.semarnat.gob.mx/Pages/buzonciudadano.aspx
CONANP (Commission of Natural Protected Areas)
http://www.conanp.gob.mx/buzon.php

//