A nearly 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.
Back in early May, DiCaprio posted about the vaquita porpoise, the world’s smallest porpoise and most endangered marine mammal. There are only 30 left in the wild.
As DiCaprio pointed out in his post, the vaquitas’ habitat in the Gulf of California along the west coast of Mexico is dangerous for the marine mammals who are often caught up in gillnets. He called on Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to demand action.
And the president responded.
On Twitter the next day, he posted that his country “has focused all its efforts to prevent the extinction of this species.”
It wasn’t just talk; the president teamed up with DiCaprio and his foundation to draft up a plan to protect the endangered species. On Wednesday, the actor and president, along with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, signed an agreement to help conservation efforts for the vaquitas in the Gulf of California.
The agreement, supported by DiCaprio and Slim’s foundations, permanently bans gillnets for fishing; ramps up enforcement of illegal fishing and poaching; and adds more regulations for anyone trying to fish in the protected area.
DiCaprio said in a statement that the agreement 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.”
This all started on social media, so it was fitting that DiCaprio tweeted about the agreement that will hopefully save the small porpoise.
We wouldn’t want to lose those little porpoises forever. Just look at them.