WAN Exclusive With Andrea Crosta On His Collaboration With Jane Goodall To Help Save The Last 10 Vaquita On Earth

In honor of International Vaquita Day, it remains more imperative than ever that awareness is raised about the plight of this critically endangered porpoise, of which there are only an estimated 10 remaining in the wild. Immediate action must be taken to save this precious species from extinction in the wild.

Taking charge of trying to salvage this critical situation is Andrea Crosta, Founder of Earth League International (ELI). In what may be one of the last chances to save the remaining vaquita on earth, Crosta enlisted the help of another influential voice, that of Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace.

In a new video released Saturday morning, Crosta and Goodall discuss the vaquita, a victim of international trafficking criminals who profit from the illegal fishing of the totoaba, a fish used in traditional Chinese medicine. It also calls for the Mexican and Chinese governments to dismantle the international criminal syndicates that are accelerating the collapse of biodiversity in the Gulf of California.

Earth League International’s Operation ‘Fake Gold’ is the largest intelligence-gathering and investigative operation to date on the Mexican and Chinese traffickers responsible for the vaquita crisis.

WAN talked with Crosta, whose goal of this impactful video campaign is to set the story straight should the vaquita become extinct in the wild. He wants the world to know the real story.

“Don’t bullshit me and tell me we did what we could, because we didn’t,” Crosta told WAN. “If the vaquita becomes extinct, this should become a case study of an epic failure of conservation and it should be reviewed in the future as how to not do things.”

“In a nutshell, for the past four years, we have been saying that if you don’t put enough resources on the trafficking part of the problem, then there is no way to solve it. Anti-poaching, net removals, and going after the illegal fisherman in the middle of the night does not work,” continued Crosta. “For the first time we have Jane Goodall, a renowned biologist, not a crime expert, stating that the problem is not the fisherman, it is the trafficking. While this sounds like a simple phrase, it has profound implications because you have to move the front of the battle away from the sea and more into the cities, the ports, and the borders of the United States. It is a whole different war that we are trying to explain in this campaign.”

Crosta shared how Goodall also raises awareness about causes that are outside of her foundation. He stated that, “she is an ideal last-minute hero for the vaquita.” Her words are very powerful and heard by many people around the world. In the video, Goodall personally makes an appeal to the governments of Mexico and China to work together, “to save this beautiful little mammal.” She also urges people to learn more about the vaquita crisis, support organizations like Earth League International, and to share this message as widely as they can.

According to Crosta, the media keeps missing the message that his organization keeps repeating. Gill nets catch the totoaba that kill the vaquita and everything else including: sharks, dolphins, manta rays, and sea birds, among others; affecting the whole Sea of Cortez.

Crosta also explained to WAN that some of his frustration stems from the millions of dollars that have been spent on anti-poaching and net removal over the years, with no money targeted for anti-trafficking. He also believes that Mexico’s recent decision to weaken vaquita protection is because the current president is looking for votes, for political gain, and is under pressure.

“It is a political move and they need to please the fisherman, as well as the voters in Baja, California. The president wants to show that he is about getting jobs,” concluded Crosta. “This is a crime problem as well. You can give the jobs to the fisherman and still fight the crime as it should be fought, to stop the international wildlife traffickers.”

Earth League International suggests three ways that people can help save the vaquita:

CONTACT Mexican and Chinese government authorities and demand an end to the illegal totoaba trade that is accelerating the vaquita’s demise:

MEXICO:

Presidente Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Residencia oficial de Los Pinos, Molino del Rey s/n,
Col. San Miguel Chapultepec, Distrito Federal. C.P. 11850

Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources – E-mail: atencion.ciudadana@semarnat.gob.mx

CHINA:

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United States of America
3505 International Place, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008 U.S.A.
Phone: +1-202-495-2266
E-mail: chinaembpress_us@mfa.gov.cn

SPREAD AWARENESS by sharing the video of Dr. Jane Goodall as she joins ELI and others who are fighting to save the vaquita.

DONATE to Earth League International and Operation Fake Gold, HERE!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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