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2023 Vaquita Survey Will Take Place May 10th-26th

In a press conference convened by Secretary Albores of SEMARNAT (Environment and Natural Resources) the dates 2023 Vaquita Survey were announced.

The 2023 survey will take place May 10 – May 26, and will be a partnership between Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) and the Natural Protected Areas Commission of Mexico (CONANP) with logistical assistance from the Navy of Mexico. The Vaquita Survey Announcement featured Pritam Singh, Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Sea Shepherd, Commissioner Pena’ of CONANP (National Commission of National Protected Areas) and Secretary Albores of SEMARNAT.

The Vaquita Porpoise is an endemic species that exists only in a small region of Mexico’s Upper Gulf of California. It is the most endangered marine mammal in the world, and this 2023 survey will be the most updated scientific documentation of the Vaquita population. Fourteen highly trained and experienced observers will join Dr. Barbara Taylor, who brings more than 20 years of experience in protecting the Vaquita and other species of marine mammals around the world.

“The mission we share with CONANP and SEMARNAT is simple; save the Vaquita,” remarked Sea Shepherd’s Pritam Singh. “The survey that we are announcing today will be the most updated scientific analysis of the Vaquita population since October of 2021, and the results will help guide the next steps in our collaboration with the Mexican Government in protecting the Vaquita. I also want to thank Dr. Barbara Taylor who is leading the 2023 Vaquita Survey. Dr. Taylor brings decades of knowledge to this exercise, and her knowledge is surpassed only by her persistence in protecting the most endangered marine mammal on earth.”

The 2023 survey will locate and track Vaquitas from two ships, the Sea Shepherd vessel M/V Seahorse and a private vessel: Sirena de la Noche. Both will be used as observation platforms to estimate the population size of the living Vaquitas. Daily operations include an acoustic monitoring component that will assess where and how active vaquitas are in different areas of the Zero Tolerance Area (ZTA). After the survey, the scientific team will generate an assessment of the status of the Vaquita population for release in early June.

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