Wednesday to increase efforts to save the vaquita marina porpoise,
burying the hatchet in a Twitter feud over the endangered species.
May, DiCaprio asked his millions of Twitter and Instagram followers to
sign a petition calling on Pena Nieto to do more to protect the world’s
smallest porpoise, which is on the verge of extinction.
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.
two were all smiles, however, as they shook hands and signed a deal in
which Mexico promised to protect the marine ecosystems of the Gulf of
California and in particular the vaquita, which is found only there.
more than ever, the world is looking for bold leadership at every level
to tackle climate change and environmental conservation issues,”
DiCaprio said in a statement.
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.”
Gulf of California, which was officially listed as a World Heritage site
in 2005, is a source for half of Mexico’s fisheries production.
the deal, Mexico will impose a permanent ban on gillnets in the
vaquita’s habitat. The nets — used to catch another species, the
totoaba fish — have contributed to wiping out the vaquita.
threat is fueled by demand for totoaba swim bladders in China, where
they are considered a delicacy and can fetch $20,000 per kilogram.
called on Mexico to go further by launching coordinated efforts with
China and the United States to end the illegal totoaba trade.