I have been involved in Operation Milagro since it first started early 2015 and have dedicated over a year to this project.
Operation Milagro is a Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s effort to prevent the most endangered marine mammal in the world — the Vaquita Marina, from going extinct. The vaquita is also the smallest porpoise in the planet and it only inhabits Mexico’s northern waters of the Gulf of California, also know as the Sea of Cortez.
Sea Shepherd has sent two vessels on location to help the Mexican Navy Patrol the protect habitat of this species and also to remove illegal fishing gear which causes the animal to get entangled and drown. The main reason why there are only 60 vaquitas left and they face such danger of extinction is because they are by-catch to gill net fishing.
To understand the whole story watch this web series, I created, shot, edited and distributed here:
This series was a major success, bringing to light the plight of the vaquita and reaching over 1.5 million views across Facebook and YouTube.
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 01 – Turtle Rescue
This is the first episode of the series and it features the amazing actor Martin Sheen.
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 02 – The Patrol
As Operation Milagro II, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s Fall 2015 Vaquita Porpoise Defense Campaign, begins, the crew of the R/V Martin Sheen starts patrolling the vaquita’s habitat.
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 03 – Sailing with Dolphins
The crew of Sea Shepherd’s research sailing vessel, the R/V Martin Sheen, sails in search of the smallest cetacean in the world, the endangered vaquita marina porpoise.
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 04 – Night Patrol
Join Sea Shepherd’s crew on board the R/V Martin Sheen during a night patrol inside the vaquita’s refuge.
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 05 – Gillnet Damage
Join the crew of the R/V Martin Sheen as they witness the damage a gillnet can cause to marine wildlife while patrolling the endangered vaquita’s refuge in Mexico.
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 06 – Permission Granted
Captain Oona Layolle meets with Mexican Authorities and is granted permission to remove gillnets from the Vaquita’s Refuge.
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 07 – Anti-Poaching Campaigns
The crew of the R/V Martin Sheen describes their previous campaign doing Legitimate Whale Research and speaks to the crew of the M/V Steve Irwin before their departure for Operation Ice Fish II.
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 08 – Return of the Farley Mowat
The new M/V Farley Mowat continues the direct action approach set by the original vessel. Joining the R/V Martin Sheen on Operation Milagro II, the M/V Farley Mowat is immediately effective by confiscating an illegal gillnet in the endangered vaquita’s habitat.
Sea Shepherd Removes gillnet from Endangered Vaquita Habitat
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 09 – Justice for the Vaquita.
The M/V Farley Mowat and the RV Martin Sheen patrol the vaquita refuge searching for illegal nets and poachers. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society assists the Mexican Navy arrest a poacher in the habitat of the most endangered cetacean in the world – the Vaquita Marina.
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 10 – Light up the Dark
Actor Gregg Lowe crews with Sea Shepherd to help us protect the vaquita. The M/V Farley Mowat lights up the vaquita refuge and deters poacher from laying deadly nets in the vaquita marina’s habitat.
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 11 – Big Fish
This week the crew of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s ships The Farley Mowat and The Martin Sheen find and retrieve an illegal totoaba bass net from the critically endangered vaquita marina’s habitat
Gregg Lowe on Sea Shepherd’s Operation Milagro
You might know Gregg Lowe from X-Men: Days of Future Past, but now watch him explain Sea Shepherd’s Operation Milagro and understand why we must save the Vaquita Marina – The most endangered cetacean in the world.
Sea Shepherd Crew Save Humpback Whale Entangled in Illegal Gillnet
Sea Shepherd crew rescued a whale entangled in an illegal totoaba gillnet in the Gulf of California.
Sea Shepherd currently has two vessels in Mexico’s Gulf of California on OPERATION MILAGRO.
Our goal is to save the vaquita porpoises, the most endangered marine mammal.
The vaquita are caught as a result of fishing the totoaba, a fish poached for its swim bladder.
Both the vaquita and the totoaba are endangered species and protected by law.
Both species live only in the Gulf of California.
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 12 – This is Direct Action
This week, the crew of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s ships The M/V Farley Mowat and The RV Martin Sheen find and retrieve an illegal totoaba bass long line from the critically endangered vaquita porpoise habitat. The totoaba fish is also critically endangered.
Sea Shepherds finds a dead sample of the most endangered marine mammal in the world
While patrolling the waters of the upper Gulf of California the Sea Shepherd crew found a dead vaquita porpoise. The vaquita is the most endangered marine mammal in the whole world. The crew also found a Great White Shark caught in an illegal gillnet.
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 13 – A Really Long Day
The events of the following Vlog occurred on a single day.This was probably the most eventful day we have had on Operation Milagro II. We found a dead entangled dolphin, then a Great White Shark – that most likely bit that dolphin- entangled in the same gillnet. As the weather picked up we finished the day by rescuing some fishermen out of a storm. What a day!
The Sea Shepherd crew has found 3 dead vaquitas in 3 weeks in the month of march of 2016.
The vaquita porpoise is the most endangered marine mammal in the world.
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 14 – Saving Lives
Watch the routine of our crew doing valuable work in the Sea of Cortez.
We have been very effective at removing illegal fishing gear from the vaquita porpoise’s habitat. So much so, that now, most of the time we remove nets and lines that are mostly empty, our favorite thing to do. This way, we are saving more lives by preventing them from getting caught in these deadly traps.
Totoaba Poachers Caught on Camera
Never before seen footage.
Sea Shepherd catches critically endangered totoaba poacher in the act.
The Sea Shepherd crew filmed these totoaba poachers as they were
checking one of their illegal nets in the protected vaquita habitat.
The vaquita porpoise is the most endangered marine mammal in the world
The vaquita Porpoise is the most endangered marine mammal in the world and its main threat are these illegal gillnets.
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 15 – Good Bye
Watch the crew of the Farley Mowat capture footage of illegal fishing activity with a night vision drone and pull up a totoaba net in the dead of night. This is the final vlog of Operation Milagro II!
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s Operation Milagro II has come to an end. Milagro is its campaign to fight the looming extinction of the vaquita porpoise, the most endangered marine mammal in the world. With an estimate of less than 100 surviving vaquita, Sea Shepherd ships the R/V Martin Sheen and M/V Farley Mowat patrolled the northernmost part of the Gulf of California, Mexico to locate and remove illegal fishing gear that entangle and drown the vaquita.