Help Us Save the Most Endangered Marine Mammal Species!

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The Maria Cleofas sailing in the Northern Gulf of California

In the autumn of 2015, the Mexican Government, in collaboration with US Government (NOAA) biologists, will be conducting a new vessel survey in the northern Gulf of California to estimate the current abundance of the vaquita.  The survey starts on 27 September.  In order to take full advantage of this opportunity to learn as much as we can about the vaquita and promote the last-ditch efforts to keep the species from going extinct in the near future, VIVA Vaquita is planning to work with Grupo Cleofas to bring the 137’ vessel Maria Cleofas to the northern Gulf in October.  This vessel will act as a platform to obtain photos and video of the vaquita and associated management activities, and perhaps most importantly, to host media personnel and politicians who can help to ensure the vaquita’s plight is publicized and acted upon.  CBS’ 60 Minutes is planning to do a story on the vaquita, and to use the Maria Cleofas as its main filming platform.  But, the vessel is not yet fully funded, and more support is needed to ensure that this expedition will actually happen.  See below for how you can help to support it, and be a part of the vaquita’s future!

Estimated Number of Vaquitas Remaining*:


*Based on CIRVA report from July of 2014 stating an estimated 97 individuals remained and the population was in decline at an annual rate of 18.5%.  New information suggests the current number could be closer to 50!

The Vaquita Porpoise:

A Conservation Emergency


The vaquita porpoise (Phocoena sinus) is considered by many to be the rarest and most-endangered species of marine mammal in the world. It is Critically Endangered with an estimated 245 remaining in 2008 and less than 100 in 2014 (CIRVA 2014). It is the smallest of only seven species of true porpoises, and is the only one that lives in warm waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean. It is found in a tiny area in the extreme northern Gulf of California, near Baja California, Mexico. Learn more about vaquita>


Only an immediate and total ban on gillnets in the entirety of the vaquita's range can save it from extinction.


See a collection of photos of vaquita>





Bonnie Card Weingarth, Golden Dolphins Media Productions, donated video production.

Support the film:

Souls of the Vermilion Sea

Kickstarter campaign!

Listen to

The Elements Podcast with

 vaquita activist

William Whittenbury.

Help fund a research vessel in the Gulf of California this fall!


Order the second edition of

Aidan Bodeo-Lomicky's (V-Log) book on the vaquita porpoise.  Purchase now for $12.95


All proceeds go to ¡VIVA Vaquita!








Download the American Cetacean Society's Spyhopper periodical - with news about the vaquita.

Cover page of Spyhopper periodical image
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Photos taken under permit (Oficio No. DR/488/08 from the Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturale Protegidas (CONANP/Secretaría del Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT), within a natural protected area subject to special management and decreed as such by the Mexican Government. This work was made possible thanks to the collaboration and support of the Coordinador de Investigación y Conservación de Mamíferos Marinos at the Instituto Nacional de Ecología (INE).

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