Mexico And Leonardo DiCaprio Make Deal To Help Endangered Porpoise

Jenna Warner
June 10, 2017

On Wednesday, the Oscar victor announced that his foundation has teamed up with billionaire Carlos Slim's foundation and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to sign an agreement that will protect marine ecosystems in the upper Gulf of California.

"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".

Fisherman use gillnets in the area to catch both shrimp and totoaba, the latter a species that is also endangered and endemic to the region and fished illegally because its swim bladder is a delicacy in China and sells for thousands of dollars per kilogram.

The Mexican president said his country feels responsible to preserve its great biodiversity in the face of climate change.

This illustration of a Vaquita Marina, provided by Greenpeace, .

In May, Leonardo DiCaprio had asked his millions of followers on Twitter and Instagram to sign a request to ask the Mexican President to make more efforts to protect the very rare marine mammal and a smaller cetacean in the world.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto met Hollywood star DiCaprio and Slim in his official residence in Mexico City to sign a memorandum of understanding committing to conserve marine life in the Gulf of California, including the vaquita.

The Mexican president responded with what was, for him, an unprecedented flurry of seven tweets in English defending his government's efforts to save the estimated 30 vaquitas that remain.

A almost extinct porpoise might have more of a chance thanks to actor and environmental advocate Leonardo DiCaprio, who took to Instagram and Twitter to get help from the Mexican government.

Gillnets, used in fishing, are considered the main reason for this species' population decline.

Handout image released by the Mexican Presidency's press office showing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto (L) and U.S. actor Leonardo Di Caprio (R) during a meeting about the danger of extinction of the vaquita porpoise (Phocoena sinus) in Mexico City on June 7, 2017. "That is why we have implemented a historic effort to avoid the extinction of a unique species in the world and also to protect important ecosystems", Peña Nieto said.

However, enforcement and regulation are going to serve as the foundation of their plan as things like night fishing have now been banned in the Northern gulf.

The agreement is undeniably a momentous event and organisations such as the Mexican environmental group Pronatura Noroeste, World Wildlife Fund, Sea Shepherd and the Marisla Foundation has expressed their utmost support for the initiative.

Other reports by Insurance News

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