WWF position on the vaquita CPR (Conservation, Protection, and Recovery) plan
WWF supports Vaquita CPR as a bold and necessary strategy within wider comprehensive efforts to save the vaquita, whose population has plummeted to fewer than 30 individuals.
“Although CPR faces a lot of uncertainty and is highly risky, WWF recognizes it as a necessary action to save the vaquita from extinction,” said Jorge Rickards, CEO of WWF-Mexico. “WWF supports CPR with the sole aim of returning a healthy vaquita population to the wild, and as such our primary focus will continue to be ensuring a healthy, gillnet-free Upper Gulf of California where both wildlife and local communities can thrive. We remain hopeful that together with all stakeholders, we will see success in both the CPR and on-the-ground conservation efforts.”
While WWF will not participate directly in the vaquita capture and relocation efforts, as it is not within the organization’s area of expertise, it will continue to support ongoing work which directly benefits CPR and vaquita in the wild, including:
- The acoustic monitoring system, which is crucial to help locate the remaining vaquitas. This monitoring has been supported since 2012 by WWF and operated by the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change of Mexico (INECC) to help estimate the vaquita’s population, and is essential to measure effectiveness in vaquita conservation.
- WWF will also continue to participate in the retrieval of lost or abandoned “ghost” nets, many of them illegal, which drift aimlessly and continue to entangle and kill vaquitas and other marine species. As part of this effort WWF is now supporting the use of the side-scan sonar. This will help to detect ghost nets more efficiently to ensure a gillnet-free environment for the vaquitas and the US Navy dolphins that will aid to locate them.
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