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Mer calme

Vaquita - News - 2023

Extract from the 2023 Activity Report / SCS AG

How we slowed down the extinction of the species thanks to our partnership with Pronatura Noroeste.

SCS is committed to working on "Vaquita friendly" fishing methods so that the Vaquita has a better chance of thriving. © Greenpeace.

Indeed, thanks to the donations received - including those from SCS - the estimates of the number of Vaquitas present in the Gulf of California showed no decrease in 2023, a phenomenon that hadn't occurred for decades!

However, the population remains very small, estimated at about a dozen individuals. That is why the scientific committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), which monitors the evolution of cetacean populations, issued an "extinction alert" for the Vaquita in August 2023. Consequently, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) issued an "extinction alert" for the vaquita in 2023, prompting the Mexican government to strengthen protection measures.

A rare sighting of the vaquita. © Oscar Ortiz

Endemic to the Gulf of California, the species is classified as

"critically endangered" on the IUCN Red List (International Union for Conservation of Nature).

The collaboration between Pronatura Noroeste and SCS began in 2014 to save the vaquitas from extinction. The vaquita, the smallest cetacean species, is threatened by totoaba fishing, another endangered species.

Since 2022, actions have been taken to promote behavioral changes in fishing communities. Vaquita-friendly fishing gear has been developed, yielding promising results. Indeed, these fishing gears are more efficient, resulting in additional gains, thus encouraging more fishermen to voluntarily seek training and join the sustainable fishing program promoted by our partner.

"Since 2022, actions have been taken to promote behavioral changes in fishing communities." © Pronatura Noroeste / Juan Fco. Ibarra Rodriguez

This sustainable fishing program is integrated into the Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP), dedicated to several fish species in the Upper Gulf of California. To ensure transparency at every stage of the process, our partner has implemented a traceability program that provides certainty to buyers through blockchain technology.

Despite all these efforts, the vaquita remains endangered.

You can make a difference by joining SCS to contribute to this cause.

Vaquita, Upper Gulf of California, 2008. © Tom Jefferson


Project Coordinator at SCS: Melissa Bill

Lausanne, April 15, 2024

Article writing: Leonor de Carvalho / SCS


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