WCC 2016 Res 017 - Progress Report

General information
IUCN Constituencies implementing this Resolution
IUCN Members: 
Fondo para la Biodiversidad CONABIO / Mexico
Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales ( SEMARNAT ) / Mexico
Chicago Zoological Society ( ) / United States of America
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Department of Commerce ( NOAA ) / United States of America
Association of Zoos and Aquariums ( AZA ) / United States of America
San Diego Zoo Global ( ) / United States of America
US Department of the Interior (Fish and Wildlife Service) ( FWS ) / United States of America
IUCN Commissions: 
IUCN Species Survival Commission 2017-2020 (SSC)
IUCN Secretariat: 
Yes
Other non-IUCN related organisations: 
CIRVA (international vaquita recovery team), The Marine Mammal Center (Sausalito, California), Marine Mammal Commission (Bethesda, Maryland), National Marine Mammal Foundation (San Diego, California), Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Aquafarms, Museo de la Ballena, WWF Mexico, World Animal Protection, Parley, WHC-UNESCO, CITES
Implementation
Indicate which actions have been carried out to implement this Resolution : 
Capacity-building
Convene stakeholders/Networking
Education/Communication/Raising awareness
Field activities
Fundraising
Policy influencing/advocacy
Scientific/technical activities
Describe the results/achievements of the actions taken: 
Education and Communication: Nearly all of the groups, organizations and individuals listed have in one way or another contributed to this. Of particular note, the Cetacean Specialist Group's website (http://www.iucn-csg.org/) has served as a go-to place for updated information on the vaquita conservation crisis, including the site for posting the reports of CIRVA.
Field activities: Removal of illegal and derelict fishing gear from area of vaquita occurrence, recovery and necropsy of dead vaquitas, support of Mexican enforcement agencies, implementation of effort to capture live vaquitas for protection in captive environment (this was suspended after 6 weeks, with no positive outcome).
Fundraising: The Marine Mammal Center has taken a lead role in this, and for the CPR (live-capture) work the National Marine Mammal Foundation co-led the fundraising work.
Policy inflencing: Participation, as part of UNESCO’s delegation, in the “Trilateral meeting China/United States/Mexico on the combat against illegal traffic of Totoaba fish”, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, between 22nd Aug – 25th Aug. 2017. Main objectives of the meeting were: • i) establish an effective tri-national cooperation agenda in the fight against the illegal extraction, trafficking and demand of totoaba (Totoaba macdonaldi). • ii) Elaborate a trilateral strategy to combat Totoaba’s illegal trafficking, and build a reciprocally beneficial partnership. • Iii) Review the draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), on trinational cooperation to combat Totoaba’s illegal trafficking and associated demand; and formalize a timeline to carry out the internal consultation and approval processes of each country.
Participation of the Mexican Government in the Meeting of UNESCO-WHC (Paris, France, June 26-27, 2017) / Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California.
CIRVA has gone well beyond its scientific advisory role in recent years and worked hard along with NOAA in particular to advocate for stronger enforcement of fishing regulations and many other policy aspects.
Scientific activities: Support for UNESCO World Heritage site evaluation (completed), regular convening and reporting by CIRVA to provide oversight of field activities, population assessment, threat identification and tracking.
What challenges/obstacles have been encountered in the implementation of this Resolution and how were they overcome : 
The vaquita has no economic value. The killing of vaquitas is not intentional. The economic value of the totoaba is extremely high so the incentive for illegal fishing is strong. Fishery management in the Upper Gulf has always been weak. Vaquitas are hard to detect and follow. All parties listed have done various things to overcome the challenges.
Briefly describe what future actions are needed for the implementation of this Resolution: 
Continue to work to influence policies, promoting measures that would strengthen enforcement (including prosecution and harsh penalties for illegal fishing), enable local fishing communities to prosper without depending on fisheries that put vaquitas at risk, and halt the illegal commerce in totoaba swim bladders.
Efforts by several groups including some in the Mexican government are continuing to remove gillnets from the vaquita's habitat, develop and field-test vaquita-safe fishing methods, monitor the population via passive acoustics, ensure carcasses are recovered and necropsied, and analyze the information and data collected to data to assess trends and identify ways to improve the prospects for species recovery.
The Secretariat (ORMACC) will continue working towards the implementation of this resolution, as requested and according to the resources available in support to the Mexican Government and jointly with the UNESCO-WHC.
Status of implementation
Status of implementation for this Resolution: 
On-going: implementation consisting of repetitive, recurrent action (attending meetings, reporting, etc.)
Additional information
Are these actions planned for yet: 
Yes