Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
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The Vanishing Vaquita - Free Lecture
Friends of Cabrillo Marine Aquarium and the American Cetacean Society present this free lecture:

The Vaquitas' Net Loss: new abundance estimate reveals that Mexico’s endemic porpoise faces imminent extinction due to illegal fishing

By Dr Barbara Taylor
NOAA's Southwest Fisheries Science Center

Only about 60 vaquitas remain according to a survey done last fall. Dr. Barbara Taylor, co-chief scientist of the survey, will show the key role that science has played in closely tracking the decline of the world's most endangered marine mammal. The catastrophic decline since 2012 results from the resurgence of an illegal fishery for an endangered fish species to supply part to the illegal wildlife trade in China. Despite the Government of Mexico heeding the scientists' warning and instating a two-year emergency gillnet ban with greatly increase enforcement, three vaquitas were found dead in March from gillnet entanglement. Illegal totoaba fishing continues despite the greatly increased enforcement overseen by the Mexican Navy in collaboration with the Sea Shepherd’s Operation Milagro. If the emergency two-year gillnet ban is lifted in 2017, vaquitas could go extinct in only 5 years.

Dr. Barbara Taylor has worked on vaquita for over 20 years. She leads the largest marine mammal genetics research group in the world at NOAA's Southwest Fisheries Science Center, chairs the Society for Marine Mammalogy's Conservation Committee, leads listing efforts for whales, dolphins and porpoises for IUCN, and serves on the International Recovery Team and Presidential Commission on vaquita.

• Thursday, May 26, 2016 • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM