When I heard that there are only 30 known surviving vaquita in the world, I knew I had to do something. What a ridiculous world we live in that we can sit back and witness the near and actual extinction of species. How arrogant we are to assume that this won't have an impact on our lives...
The vaquita is a small dolphin which now has the title of the most critically endangered marine mammal of the world.
In 2007, there were approximately 150 vaquita. Now that number has plummeted to just 30. THIRTY! That's a normal class size of children at a primary school. That's 10 times fewer than the amount of Facebook 'friends' I have acquired. That's mad!! What have we done...?
I'm starting an artwork to pull focus on this issue, using ghost gear from my local beach in Saltdean, Brighton (UK) as a key material. My aim is to highlight why biodiversity loss matters for humanity, and the loss of an entire species is catastrophic for us all.
"Vaquitas are the most critically endangered marine mammals in the world, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Between 1997 and 2008, unsustainable deaths in gillnets caused vaquitas to decline from around 600 to 250. Since 2011, the resumption of illegal fishing for a large endangered fish (the totoaba) increased the decline to 34% a year, resulting in only 60 vaquitas remaining in December 2015. The swim bladders of totoaba fetch large sums of money in Hong Kong and Chinese black markets. In response to the alarming rate of decline, the Mexican government instituted a two-year gillnet ban throughout the vaquita’s range (2015-2017), increased enforcement with the Mexican Navy, and compensated fishers affected by the two-year gillnet ban ($72 million).Despite these substantial government actions, illegal fishing continues and will likely result in extinction of vaquitas in the next few years." Visit VaquitaCPR.org to find out more about this endangered dolphin #savethevaquita