At 7 pm on Sunday, May 22, 2016, 60 Minutes will air a segment on vaquita. The crew came to San Felipe and interviewed Lorenzo Rojas-Bracho and Barbara Taylor during the 2015 vaquita survey. They also filmed the presentation of the SMM Conservation Merit Prize and interviewed Mexico’s Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources Rafael Pacchiano afterwards in San Francisco. Most importantly, they filmed vaquita themselves.
The airing follows news released last Friday that only around 60 vaquitas remain by the international recovery team for vaquita (CIRVA). Results of the acoustic monitoring between 2011-2015 showed an 80% decline over that period. Results from the acoustic monitoring prompted the emergency 2-year ban of gillnets that on May 10, 2015. Although almost no gillnets were seen on the survey between October and early December, 42 illegal totoaba gillnets were removed by the Sea Shepherd in collaboration with the Mexican Navy. 3 vaquitas died in March from gillnet entanglement. For more information see:
Sea Shepherd: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTkgKh07qyg
Vidal WWF opinion piece: http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/16/opinions/save-the-vaquita-omar-vidal/index.html
Dr. Barbara Taylor
Chair, Society for Marine Mammalogy Conservation Committee