11th meeting of the Vaquita Recovery Team
The report of the 11th meeting of the international vaquita recovery team (CIRVA), held in La Jolla, California on 19-21 February 2019, is now available. The report recommends a series of immediate, near-term, medium-term, and long-term actions to prevent extinction of the vaquita. It calls on the Government of Mexico to do a great deal more than has been done to date to eliminate illegal fishing for totoaba, with the focus of enforcement and net-removal efforts now centered in the small area where the few remaining vaquitas have been observed (acoustically) and visually over the past six months. This is expected to be treated as a ‘Zero Tolerance Area’ where the goal is to remove any illegal net within hours of its deployment, particularly during the totoaba season, which continues through April and into early May. The report also provides updates on the acoustic monitoring program and other scientific work, net-removal efforts, development and testing of alternative fishing gear, and various socio-economic and legal issues.