Leonardo DiCaprio continues his work to protect the environment, this time attempting to help the critically endangered vaquita porpoise!
The actor has made an agreement with Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto and billionaire Carlos Slim to end the use of gill nets in the northern Gulf of California, where this endangered species lives. “Mexico understands its responsibility as one of the countries with greatest biodiversity,” President Pena Nieto said in a statement. “That is why we have implemented an historic effort to avoid the extinction of a unique species in the world and also to protect important ecosystems.”
Only about two dozen of the vaquita remain in their native waters. They are are threatened because of these unauthorized nets used to catch totoaba, a fish whose swim bladder is a prized delicacy in China. However, these illegal nets can and have trapped and killed these vaquitas.
This agreement will also include a ban on night fishing, and improved entry and exit control in the vaquitas’ territory. “This action is a critical step towards ensuring that the Gulf of California continues to be both vibrant and productive, especially for species like the critically endangered vaquita,” Leo said of the overall agreement.
Later this year, authorities will also begin capturing and enclosing the remaining vaquitas, putting them in a protected marine sanctuary to try to save them from extinction.
I had no idea these rare porpoises even existed! It’s so great to see Leo continuing with his work to protect the environment wholeheartedly. I hope that this agreement is truly enforced and that these animals are saved. It’s very unfortunate that they’re critically endangered because of illegal nets. With this agreement, along with their upcoming sanctuary, hopefully the vaquita will be able to breed and start to thrive again.