Sea Shepherd: Vaquita Protection and Removal of Illegal Fishing Gear
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society concluded Operation Milangro II on May 3rd 2016, its campaign to fight the looming extinction of the vaquita porpoise, the most endangered marine mammal in the world. With and estimate of less than 60 surviving vaquita, Sea Shepherd ships the R/V Martin Sheen and M/V Farley Mowat (sponsored by John Paul DeJoria’s Foundation) patrolled the northernmost part of the Gulf of California, Mexico to locate and remove illegal fishing gear that entangle and drown the vaquita.
During Operation Milangro II, Sea Shepherd joined forces with the Mexican Navy and removed 42 illegal gillnets and 16 longlines with a grappling hook built by the crewmembers. The hook has been so effective; the Navy is now using one as well.
Sea Shepherd plans to return to the Gulf of California in November 2016 to continue to fight against illegal fishing and to expand our efforts to protect the vaquita. The use of gillnets and longlines has been devastating to the biological diversity of the gulf of California, often considered one of the most biologically diverse marine areas in the world.
The partnership withe the Mexican Government has been productive and certainly made an impact saving the lives of so many marine animals. Sea Shepherd will continue to work with PROFEPA and the Mexican Government.