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Thu Feb 13, 2020, 02:12 AM

Shots fired at Sea Shepherd vessel working to save the vaquita in the Gulf of California

Sorry, I've been wanting to post this for a while, but have been busy.

For those who may not have a background on this issue, a few points:

1. The Vaquita is a unique, shy, beautiful porpoise who is a one of a kind. There are only a few left, current estimates say less than 10. This isn't losing a regional population of a species with a broader range, vaquitas are only found in the Gulf of California. They are so shy, they were only seen by scientists in the 1970's and few pictures exist that are not of dead vaquitas.

2. Species with historically low populations DO NOT have the inbreeding problems that result in other species that experience genetic bottlenecks. The current hypothesis is that all deleterious genes have been eliminated.

3. This is NOT a historic fishery, as fishermen came to the area primarily to fish for the totoaba to send to the Chinese. In the past the fish were left to rot while the bladders were shipped.

4. The best thing for the vaquita and the fisherfolk would be a NO GO reserve. Research has shown that marine reserves IMPROVE fishing in the surrounding waters.

5. Fishing gear that is safe for the vaquita does exist and sustainable catch should be supported so the fisherfolks can make a living. The government of Mexico has held back from permitting the new gear (reasons unknown).


7. Sea Shepherd needs your help.

8. If we can't win the fight to save this species, there is little hope to save any, at least any in the ocean. This is a geographically isolated problem without a big corporation mucking things up. Just a few fishermen looking for easy money. The vaquita isn't even the targets species and there is no competition for land use or other things that make so many endangered species issues so complex. This is the easy one. We need to win.

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Reply Shots fired at Sea Shepherd vessel working to save the vaquita in the Gulf of California (Original post)
rwsanders Feb 2020 OP
Duppers Feb 2020 #1
Duppers Feb 2020 #2
rwsanders Feb 2020 #3
halobeam Feb 2020 #4

Response to rwsanders (Original post)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 02:16 PM

1. Jesus fucking gawd! Here we go again.

Why can they not return fire, as a defensive measure of course, when they are being fired upon?! Heck, carry 50cal rifles and when fired upon, fire back & sink them.

Sending another donation. RW, thanks for posting this. 💕 to you.

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Response to Duppers (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 02:56 PM

3. I didn't so thank you.

I would suspect fishermen. The gulf has been devastated recently through overfishing then the BP spill as well as another chronic spill that has now released more oil than the BP/DWH spill. The Responsible Party refuses to acknowledge their role and stop the spill. The rate of release is less, but has been going for a long time. Add to this the growing dead zone from all the industrial, agricultural runoff as well as fertilizer from yards (grass now biggest US crop, and a neighbor of mine used to fertilize more than I mowed).

Thanks for helping Sea Shepherd. I just had a 15 minute conversation with Defenders of Wildlife last night. They called for more donations and I told them while I love their group the vaquita was at a critical stage and I was disappointed in them and other major environmental groups for ignoring the crisis.

The Sea Shepherd boats are carrying Mexican Navy personnel and I'm not sure of the agreement they have together. SSCS has a non-violence policy, but I would think that a hired marksman to take out the outboard motors of the pangas would be a great way of stopping them. Also I thought they should carry paintball guns to help repel boarders.

But the level of violence is also an indication of a level of desperation, so maybe the fishermen will give up especially with new law enforcement actions promised by new Mexican government just elected.

I was too busy to post the article and still want to, but an end of season survey last year was cautiously optimistic as they saw as many vaquitas at the end as they did at the beginning of the season. They will hang out in very shallow water and not all the waters are covered by listening devices, so I am praying there is a remnant population somewhere that hasn't been counted that will allow them to recover.

The situation is so desperate that I wish these posts would get as much attention as the latest cute puppy clip or the latest slam one way or another in the primaries. Maybe I should come up with a very inflammatory post title, write about the vaquita and put "made you look" at the end?

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Response to rwsanders (Original post)

Sun Feb 16, 2020, 11:58 PM

4. k & r !!

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