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LT Barclay

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Member since: Fri Apr 15, 2011, 09:54 AM
Number of posts: 2,062

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Dramatic video of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society vessel being attacked in Sea of Cortez

Please help save the Vaquita porpoise (less than 20 left): https://seashepherd.org/campaigns/milagro/

Please help save the Vaquita porpoise (less than 20 left): https://seashepherd.org/campaigns/milagro/

Please help save the Vaquita porpoise (less than 20 left): https://seashepherd.org/campaigns/milagro/

Another perspective on saving the VAQUITA porpoise from the Elephant Action League

Interesting part of the commentary says that banning imports of seafood from Mexico that is not certified as safe for the vaquita was a mistake and the EAL opposed it. Their logic is that there is no longer any legal fishery in the northern Sea of Cortez.

I disagree with the criticism of the ban. Actually, I think if the whole area was closed to fishing and established as a marine reserve, there would be better fishing overall, and there would be no activity that would threaten the vaquita. But I do agree that increasing pressure on the middlemen and traffickers would help. Please let your representatives know you support increasing pressure on wildlife traffickers (US is 2nd largest market in the world).
Existing whistleblower program could help stop trafficking:

An immediate step might be to require transducers that mimic the sound of motors on legal nets, as the vaquita are said to avoid boats.

Also interesting that this person from the EAL doesn't say much about Sea Shepherd, but the representative speaking here had only good things to say about them:
Meet the producers of Sea of Shadows and EAL:

I'm still behind Sea Shepherd, they are the only group removing the nets. And the article says that the fishermen are beginning to doubt that the illegal fishery is worth the investment.

Hopefully the groups will continue to work together. Way too important to give in to bickering.

Just got a video of the campaign from Sea Shepherd in my e-mail:

Missed Opportunity Is the vaquita's plight linked to the US government's failure to take advantage o

Source: Earth Island Journal

The doll-faced porpoises — the world’s smallest cetaceans — are notoriously shy, avoiding boats and barely breaking the surface when they rise for air, as they must every three to four minutes. And at the time, there were likely just 245 vaquitas left in the world.
Such a sighting would be impossible today. According to Hall, no more than 15 vaquitas may now remain in the northern Gulf of California, their exclusive home range. (The last official estimate, from 2016, put the number at around 30.) Vaquita numbers have nosedived — by nearly 50 percent annually during the past six years — due to illegal fishing. “They’re unintended bycatch,” Hall explains. “Gillnets are the culprit. They’re designed to entangle fish and not let them go. Hundreds of vaquita have drowned silently, and the world just didn’t know.” Despite best efforts to protect them, it’s possible — even likely — that the critically endangered porpoise may be extinct within a year or two.

...many fishermen are after the valuable totoaba, an endangered giant sea bass found only in the central and northern portions of the Gulf of California. Totoaba swim bladders (a buoyancy organ possessed by most bony fish) are coveted in China, where they’re turned into a soup believed to enhance fertility and benefit general health. Some blame Mexico for the vaquita’s collapse. But Stephen Kohn, a Washington, DC-based attorney and the executive director of the National Whistleblower Center, argues that the United States also bears a large measure of responsibility. That’s because totoaba bladders are often smuggled through the US on their way to China.

According to Kohn, the best way to fight wildlife crime is to tap informants within trafficking groups — the poachers or the middlemen who transport illegal wildlife parts to a final destination — to help bust crime rings preying on endangered species. Enlisting whistleblowers in the Gulf and across totoaba smuggling routes, he believes, could have helped law enforcement break up what he calls the “totoaba cartel.”

Read more: http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/magazine/entry/missed-opportunity-vaquita-whistleblowers

Save (insert your favorite species here) and the VAQUITA.
Write your representative and ask them to support using existing whistleblower laws to protect wildlife.


Help save the Vaquita. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is the only ones actively removing the gillnets that are literally walls of death.


Video of a vaquita family (for post 1000)...

The video is 4 months old, and the report is a bit optimistic, but there may be hope. Population estimates have been made by trying to correlate visual observations with acoustic data. But there are wide areas of the Sea of Cortez in the vaquita refuge, where the acoustic buoys have been removed. They are quite expensive and whether it is intentional or not, there are areas where they constantly disappear. So there may be pockets of vaquita that haven't been counted (I hope).

Support Sea Shepherd's efforts please. They are the only ones on the frontlines removing the walls of death killing the vaquita and many other animals in the Sea of Cortez:


Just noticed that this is post 1000 for me!!! I love it that this is the one! Can't send money? Show the vaquita some lovin' and rec this post!! Sea Shepherd is working hard to be sure we don't lose the cutest and most endangered marine mammal. Someone who hasn't seen my posts so far is willing to give, but the word needs to spread.

No they don't swim up to us and welcome us into their world like dolphins do, but isn't a little mystery fascinating? Don't we want that creature that makes us wait expectantly hoping to catch the merest glimpse?
The vaquita was first noted in modern times as the fishery in the Sea of Cortez expanded from the south in the 1920's. It was first described in scientific literature in 1958 only based on skulls washed ashore. It was only known to the world in the 1970's. By 1992, the population had declined enough that Jean-Michel Cousteau worked out the first agreement with the government of Mexico to protect the vaquita.
So sweet vaquita, we hardly know you. We can't lose you.

Sundance Winners

Source: Bay Area Reporter

"Sea of Shadows" A highlight of this year's acquisitions was National Geographic's purchase of Oscar-winning film star Leonardo DiCaprio's environmental doc. It focuses on the fate of the vaquita, the world's smallest whale, near extinction as its habitat is obliterated by Mexican cartels and Chinese mafia, who seek the swim bladder of the totoaba fish, described by some as the "cocaine of the sea."

Read more: https://ebar.com/arts_&_culture/movies/272181

Less than 20 Vaquita porpoises left in the world, YOU CAN HELP!

But the excerpt is slightly in error. The habitat is not being destroyed, but the vaquita are falling victim to the gillnets used to catch the totoaba.

The vaquita are so cute that if there were pictures of live ones, you'd see them everywhere, but they are shy and elusive.


More about the fight to save the vaquita:

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