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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 12:43 AM

20. One of my sons volunteered on the M/V Farley Mowat last summer.

He put in several months as an unpaid volunteer crew member of the vessel, and when they weren't out on sortie in the Marine Reserve in the northern Sea of Cortez, he lived in San Filipe, Baja California.

The vaquitas are collateral damage, caught in illegal drift nets set to catch the totoaba, a sea bass native to the Sea of Cortez. While the vaquitas are the most apparent victims, the totoaba is the target of the poachers efforts.

Totoaba swim bladders are used in Chinese medicine, where it's popularly believed that consuming them will buy you an extra half-hour of hard-on. The dried bladders fetch $25,000 or more per kilo. Totoaba swim bladders are so popular in China, that parents buy them as wedding gifts and "investments" for their children. The value of the swim bladders is only expected to grow.

The totoaba population in the Sea of Cortez has been catastrophically overfished. Fifty years ago, adult fish of 5 or 6 feet in length were common. Most of the large breeding adults have been fished out. Now, most totoaba caught are 2 or 3 feet maximum and have not reached breeding age. But it doesn't matter. The little ones have swim bladders, too. The totoaba is also headed for extinction.

The day to day work on the Farley Mowat involves locating drift nets, pulling them out of the water, and destroying them. They also free any trapped aquatic life that's still alive. At night when the poachers are most active, the Farley Mowat patrols with special heat signature detection equipment. When poachers are detected, the Farley Mowat notifies the Mexican Navy which has the job of catching them and arresting them, or chasing them out of the Marine Reserve.

It is heroic but frustrating work done by people who care about the planet so deeply...including ordinary Mexicans who don't want their natural heritage to be plundered.

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Arrow 31 replies Author Time Post
Judi Lynn Jan 10 OP
DRoseDARs Jan 10 #1
gaiadiversity Jan 10 #3
DRoseDARs Jan 10 #6
GulfCoast66 Jan 10 #8
DRoseDARs Jan 10 #9
rwsanders Jan 10 #13
rwsanders Jan 10 #10
Judi Lynn Jan 10 #12
rwsanders Jan 10 #15
Judi Lynn Jan 10 #14
rwsanders Jan 11 #16
Judi Lynn Jan 11 #19
rwsanders Jan 11 #21
Judi Lynn Jan 11 #26
rwsanders Jan 11 #27
Judi Lynn Jan 11 #28
Coventina Jan 11 #18
Devil Child Jan 11 #22
GusBob Jan 10 #2
gaiadiversity Jan 10 #4
GulfCoast66 Jan 10 #7
Judi Lynn Jan 11 #29
JudyM Jan 10 #5
rwsanders Jan 11 #17
JudyM Jan 11 #25
rwsanders Jan 10 #11
LineReply One of my sons volunteered on the M/V Farley Mowat last summer.
dobleremolque Jan 11 #20
rwsanders Jan 11 #24
Judi Lynn Jan 11 #23
gaiadiversity Jan 11 #30
rwsanders Jan 11 #31
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