Critically Endangered

  February 2019 Vaquita Update This update summarizes net removals from February and news that also includes the first half of March. The Report of the 11th meeting of CIRVA is summarized in an earlier news item on this website. On 13 March a dead vaquita was...

  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...

January was a month marked by the violent action of illegal fishermen directed toward people engaged in net removal efforts. A press release including video of the attack is available here for the January 31st attack. Men in multiple pangas set upon the Sea Shepherd’s...

December marks the beginning of totoaba spawning season. As was done in the 2017/2018 spawning season, vaquita updates will be posted monthly. In this first update, a recap of last season is given to provide context. The 2017/2018 totoaba spawning season had 400 active totoaba nets...

  Assessments or reassessments of 35 cetacean species, subspecies or populations were published on the IUCN Red List in November 2018. This is in addition to the 10 new assessments published in July 2018, and 19 published in November 2017. The updated assessments included a number of...

A field effort to obtain photographs and biopsies of vaquitas was carried out from the Museo de Ballena’s 130ft vessel, the Narval, plus several small boats (3 RHIBs and a panga) between 22 and 28 September 2018. Cell culture was supplied by the San Diego...

  Assessments or reassessments of 10 cetacean species, subspecies or populations were published on the IUCN Red List in July 2018. This is in addition to the 19 new assessments that were published in November 2017. The updated assessments were all baleen whales, and included the...

  Since 2013, the Yangtze River subspecies of narrow-ridged finless porpoise (Neophocaena asiaeorientalis asiaeorientalis) has been red-listed as Critically Endangered. As noted in a news item on this website posted 10 December 2015, the population of Yangtze finless porpoises in the semi-natural reserve at Tian-E-Zhou oxbow...

  Although efforts to remove lethal gillnets from the vaquita’s habitat will continue, the totoaba spawning season is now past. With fewer than 30 vaquitas remaining and the idea of rescuing some by capturing them and placing them in a protected enclosure not considered viable at...

  In several separate enforcement actions, over 800 totoaba swim bladders were seized in April 2018 (see news article). An in-depth television news story on the illegal totoaba fishery and enforcement efforts was also released. On 12 April, shots were fired at the Sea Shepherd vessel M/V...