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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
IUCN Commissions: 
IUCN Species Survival Commission 2013-2016 (SSC)
IUCN Secretariat: 
Other non-IUCN related organisations: 
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, World Animal Protection, Parley, SAGARPA-Mexico, UNESCO-WHC, NOAA, CITES,WWF-Mexico, Comité Internacional para la Recuperación de la Vaquita - (CIRVA)
Indicate which actions have been carried out to implement this Resolution : 
Education/Communication/Raising awareness
Field activities
Policy influencing/advocacy
Scientific/technical activities
Describe the results/achievements of the actions taken: 
Education : 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 ( has served as a go-to place for updated information on the vaquita conservation crisis, including the site for posting the reports of CIRVA. In addition, SEMARNAT, the Marine Mammal Commission, and the National Marine Mammal Foundation.
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) -- all other efforts mentioned are ongoing.
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 influencing: 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 (net removal, cooperation with CITES offices and enforcement agencies in the US and China/Hong Kong to interdict the illegal trade in totoaba swim bladders
Scientific / technical activities: Support for UNESCO World Heritage site evaluation (completed), regular convening and reporting by CIRVA (international vaquita recovery team) to provide oversight of field activities, population assessment, threat identification and tracking (all ongoing)
- Participation of the Mexican Government to the 42nd UNESCO-World Heritage Committee Meeting (Manama, Bahrain, 24 June- 4 July, 2018) (For details, see the meeting report below) - In response to the resolution and to the Decision 41 COM 7B.15, adopted by UNESCO-WHC at its 41st session in Krakow on July 2-12, 2017 the Government of Mexico made substantial effort to implement the recommendations, in particular the significant progress made in strengthening surveillance efforts in the Upper Gulf of California, the enactment of the permanent gillnet ban, the increased net retrieval operations, progress made in coordinating the different law enforcement agencies and in streamlining the enforcement of regulations, as well as the efforts made to address the illegal international trade in totoaba through bilateral channels and the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). -SEMARNAT and CONABIO carried out in 2018 various actions and events to improve knowledge about the vaquita and promoting its conservation and avoid danger of extinction (the references of these activities can be found below).
According to A Reactive Monitoring Mission report conducted in 2018: despite Government´s effort insufficient progress has been made on the development and introduction of multiple and viable alternative fishing gears that do not endanger vaquita. Moreover the Vaquita Conservation, Protection and Recovery programme (CPR), set-up to establish a small captive population in order to avoid extinction of the species, had to be abandoned after one of the captured animals died.
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.
Urging the Mexican government to address the following recommendations of the 2018 UNESCO-IUCN mission: - Maintain a high level of surveillance and monitoring activities, particularly during the season when illegal totoaba fishing occurs; - Expedite the development, testing and application of multiple alternative fishing gears, in close cooperation with local fishermen
Briefly describe what future actions are needed for the implementation of this Resolution: 
Policy : Many of the groups listed will 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.
Scientific / technical activities: 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 Government of Mexico will submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2019, an updated report on the state of conservation of vaquita, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 43rd session in 2019, with a view to considering, in the case of the absence of significant progress, the inscription of the Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
The IUCN Secretariat, as requested and according to the resources available, will provide technical support to future UNESCO-WHC missions and to the ongoing CITES study on the current status of totoaba and vaquita.
Status of implementation
Status of implementation for this Resolution: 
Underway: implementation well-advanced
Are these actions planned for yet: