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rwsanders

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Member since: Fri Apr 15, 2011, 09:54 AM
Number of posts: 1,115

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Mark Trail comic from April 7, 2019 starring the Vaquita

<a data-flickr-embed="true" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/49157359@N00/46703493775/in/dateposted-public/" title="Mark Trail"><img src="" width="640" height="287" alt="Mark Trail"></a><script async src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

from www.comicskingdom.com

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 (so I'm including a post of a painting).

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. EXTINCTION IS FOREVER!!

5. Sea Shepherd needs your help.

6. 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.

7. 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).

Sea Shepherd catches fishermen illegally taking totoaba in Vaquita refuge (Hollywood level chase)



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 (so I'm including a post of a painting).

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. EXTINCTION IS FOREVER!!

5. Sea Shepherd needs your help.

6. 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.

7. 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).

<a data-flickr-embed="true" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/49157359@N00/32441588787/in/dateposted-public/" title="phocoena_sinus_by_angelmc18_d2m7kxr-fullview"><img src="" width="640" height="415" alt="phocoena_sinus_by_angelmc18_d2m7kxr-fullview"></a><script async src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Mexican Navy: One Injured in Clash Near Vaquita Reserve

Source: NBC Los Angeles

Fishermen in the community of San Felipe set illegal nets to catch Totoaba fish, whose swim bladder is considered a delicacy in China. The nets also drown vaquitas, a small porpoise that lives only in the Gulf — also known as the Sea of Cortes — of which perhaps as few as 10 remain.

The only force effectively protecting the vaquita are two boats operated by the environmentalist organization Sea Shepherd, which go out daily to haul in illegal nets.

Because the nets coast about $3,000 apiece, in recent months the fishermen have launched increasingly violent attacks on the larger Sea Shepherd vessels, to try to run them off or take back seized nets.
Because Mexico's Navy has tried to avoid confrontations, the fishermen have become increasingly bold.

That set the stage for Thursday's clash, which basically started as a chase when an illegal fishing boat tried to grab its nets back from the Sea Shepherd vessel "Sharpie."


Mexico's president said Friday he regrets a confrontation between fishermen and marines trying to prevent the illegal fishing that has driven the vaquita porpoise to the brink of extinction.
The Mexican Navy said at least one fisherman was shot when a marine's rifle accidentally discharged, and fishermen say two more people were slightly wounded in subsequent protests on Thursday.

Read more: https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/One-Injured-Near-Vaquita-Reserve-Mexico-507876141.html



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. 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 (so I'm including a post of a painting).

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. EXTINCTION IS FOREVER!!

5. Sea Shepherd needs your help.

6. 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.

7. 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).

8. Watch for the Mark Trail Comic for Sunday April 7, 2019 as it will feature the vaquita.


<a data-flickr-embed="true" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/49157359@N00/32441588787/in/dateposted-public/" title="phocoena_sinus_by_angelmc18_d2m7kxr-fullview"><img src="" width="640" height="415" alt="phocoena_sinus_by_angelmc18_d2m7kxr-fullview"></a><script async src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js" charset="utf-8"></script>


Mexico launches plan to mark vaquita porpoise reserve

Source: ABC News

The Mexican government said Thursday it will use buoys to mark the reserve of the world's most endangered marine mammal, in a bid to save the last remaining 10 or so vaquita marina porpoises.
The Environment Department promised to provide social programs and jobs for fishing communities in the upper Gulf of California, the only place in the world the vaquita lives.

It said tourism, fish farms and better fishing practices would be encouraged in the area.
The government is faced with the challenge of ending illegal net fishing for totoaba, a fish whose swim bladder is considered a delicacy in China.

Environmentalists said the government program lacked sufficient details and stressed that more urgent measures are needed to save the vaquita from extinction.
Alejandro Olivera, the Mexico representative for the Center for Biological Diversity, said the measures "are not up to the level of urgency that is required."
"With 10 vaquitas left, what is needed is total protection and the immediate elimination of illegal nets from the vaquita's habitat," Olivera said.

Read more: https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/mexico-launches-plan-mark-vaquita-porpoise-reserve-61854473



Couldn't say it better than Alejandro. NOT the correct response, just some sleight of hand hoping to divert the world's attention.


<a data-flickr-embed="true" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/49157359@N00/40417796283/in/dateposted-public/" title="vaquita_by_atolm_d90vcr9-fullview"><img src="" width="640" height="427" alt="vaquita_by_atolm_d90vcr9-fullview"></a><script async src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Will Mexico Save Its Vanishing Vaquita?

Source: New York Times

In recent decades, the sleek, wide-eyed vaquita porpoise has been pushed to the brink of extinction by poachers pursuing another critically endangered sea creature, the totoaba, a fish whose swim bladder sells on the Chinese black market for thousands of dollars. The porpoises end up caught in nets intended for the totoaba and killed as collateral damage.

There is little time left to act to save the vaquita, yet there is hope. For Mexico’s new president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the fate of the little porpoise represents political opportunity and the chance of failure. He can do nothing and preside over the first sea mammal extinction in North America in decades. Or he can save one of Mexico’s national symbols and rescue a troubled fishing industry.

“This is doable even now,” said Brooke Bessesen, a conservationist and author of a new book, “Vaquita: Science Politics and Crime in the Sea of Cortez.” “We have to come up with solutions that buy time. This is not a numbers game. It’s a game of time.”

Yet the vaquita clings to life. In October, four were spotted in open water. The little porpoise may possess a unique genetic advantage that could allow it to recover in the wild if just left alone. The vaquita was never widely distributed, numbering perhaps only 5,000 at its modern height and located only in the Sea of Cortez. But there is no evidence that it has hit the bottleneck of birth defects from inbreeding often seen in declining populations.



Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/19/opinion/mexico-porpoise-extinction.html



NY Times!
OK, not my favorite paper NORMALLY, but I think it gets a lot of attention nationwide.

Great piece on the VAQUITA there is HOPE with immediate ACTION!!

Maybe this will finally get endangered species back in the national discussion. My family watched "Big Miracle" recently and the entire nation was captivated by the plight of 3 gray whales trapped in the ice. It is time the vaquita held our attention the same way.

As I posted here:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/100211925349
If we can't save the vaquita, no matter what our cause is, it is probably doomed. Saving the vaquita is an easy one. Small geographic area, not competing with humans, ONE reason, and easy fix. No nets, no death. A "NO GO" marine reserve would easily increase productivity in the rest of the Sea of Cortez.

Sea Shepherd is the group that has stuck by this and pulled the nets. Please consider helping. This could be the last year there are vaquita without your help.

https://seashepherd.org/campaigns/milagro/

<a data-flickr-embed="true" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/49157359@N00/32441588787/in/dateposted-public/" title="phocoena_sinus_by_angelmc18_d2m7kxr-fullview"><img src="" width="640" height="415" alt="phocoena_sinus_by_angelmc18_d2m7kxr-fullview"></a><script async src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Why does it matter if we save the Vaquita?

OK, I get it. There are a lot of other hot issues out there.
I also know that a LOT of us have disaster fatigue.
I know a LOT of us don't need more bad news.

So why do I post and post and post and post about the vaquita?

Well first I'm falling for the little critters.

But my point here is that this is a relatively small problem with very exact solutions. This isn't global warming and this isn't a Mars mission. This isn't how to make our nation more compassionate and secure.
BUT, this is a chance to draw a line. This is saving one spot of beauty in a world that is falling apart around us. Again we have a beautiful animal that is dying for one reason GREED, by one method ILLEGAL POACHING, with an enemy that is located in 3 precise locations (fishing towns in the Sea of Cortez), who are only armed with ROCKS and PLASTIC NETS and they are NOT wealthy.

So if we can't draw a line and pull together to save the vaquita, how are we going to fix global warming? Create a culture where racism and xenophobia are not acceptable? Promote hope and tolerance rather than hate and violence as solutions? Cooperate rather than compete? Show we can rise to a challenge rather than express our sorrow and regret (or is it thoughts and prayers)?


<a data-flickr-embed="true" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/49157359@N00/32441588467/in/dateposted-public/" title="the_desert_porpoise_by_namu_the_orca_dbm03nc-pre"><img src="" width="640" height="448" alt="the_desert_porpoise_by_namu_the_orca_dbm03nc-pre"></a><script async src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Sea Shepherd finds dead vaquita



I hope and pray they know our hearts are with them. We're desperate for them to succeed and to hear of a recovering population in the next few years.

But where is the U.N.? Where is the U.S. Coast Guard? Where are the world's navies? Can't some nation somewhere send boats? Is there some other nation that Mexico trusts?


<a data-flickr-embed="true" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/49157359@N00/32441588467/in/dateposted-public/" title="the_desert_porpoise_by_namu_the_orca_dbm03nc-pre"><img src="" width="640" height="448" alt="the_desert_porpoise_by_namu_the_orca_dbm03nc-pre"></a><script async src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Body of Suspected Vaquita Found, Activists Say

Source: NBC Los Angeles

The environmentalist group Sea Shepherd said Thursday that it found the body of what appeared to be a vaquita porpoise, one of perhaps only 10 that remain in the world.
The group said the remains were too badly decomposed for immediate identification and had been turned over to authorities for further study.
Two Sea Shepherd patrol boats found the animal in a net Tuesday in the Gulf of California, the only place the critically endangered tiny porpoises live. The group patrols the gulf, also known as the Sea of Cortez, removing illegal fishing nets. The vaquitas get caught in nets set illegally for totoaba, a fish whose swim bladder is considered a delicacy in China.
In a report issued earlier this week, an international commission of experts estimated only six to 22 vaquitas remain alive.

Read more: https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/vaquita-dead-porpoise-endangered-mexico-507160571.html



https://seashepherd.org/campaigns/milagro/

Please consider supporting Sea Shepherd.

<a data-flickr-embed="true" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/49157359@N00/32441588467/in/dateposted-public/" title="the_desert_porpoise_by_namu_the_orca_dbm03nc-pre"><img src="" width="640" height="448" alt="the_desert_porpoise_by_namu_the_orca_dbm03nc-pre"></a><script async src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Mexico says only 22 VAQUITA porpoises remain

Source: The Washington Post

MEXICO CITY — Experts said Wednesday that only 22 vaquitas remain in the Gulf of California, where a grim, increasingly violent battle is playing out between emboldened fishermen and the last line of defense for the smallest and most endangered porpoise in the world.
Jorge Urban, a biology professor at the Baja California Sur University, said the 22 vaquitas were heard over a network of acoustic monitors. That was in fact higher than many had expected; some had estimated as little as 15 would remain in the Gulf, also known as the Sea of Cortez, the only place in the world where the vaquita marina is found.

It may be a sign the vaquita is holding on, and what is keeping it alive is a thin line of defenders: Every night 22 volunteer crew members from ships operated by the environmentalist group Sea Shepherd go out to search the upper Gulf for hidden gill nets that catch prized — but protected — totoaba fish and drown vaquitas.

It is increasingly dangerous work. Over the last month, the Sea Shepherd ship Farley Mowat has suffered two attacks in which dozens of fast fishing boats pounded the ship with rocks and firebombs.
“If we stop operations, the vaquita will go extinct,” said Sea Shepherd first mate Jack Hutton. “It’s just out here removing nets, if we stop removing them then there’s no hope for the vaquita.”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/mexico-says-only-22-vaquita-porpoises-remain/2019/03/06/8431e67e-4041-11e9-85ad-779ef05fd9d8_story.html



I'm BEGGING YOU to not ignore this article.

The vaquita are beautiful, mysterious, shy. They are unique in the world. There are only a few left. Cuter than puppies, more squee than kittens. More mystery than a Murder She Wrote episode. She is the VAQUITA!!!

https://www.deviantart.com/memuco/art/The-last-conversation-318159485

PLEASE consider supporting Sea Shepherd. This is a last ditch effort. Bottom of the ninth with 2 outs and 2 strikes. 15th round and Rocky is getting pounded. Final 10 seconds of the 4th quarter and the other team leads by 5 with the ball on our 1 yard line.

Extinction is FOREVER.

This is NOT a historic fishery. The fishermen moved into the area ONLY to exploit the Totoaba for the Chinese. Globalization fans can claim it was for the good all they want, but damn Nixon to the darkest reaches of hell. Now the Chinese have the money to destroy some of the worlds most beloved species and do it by exploiting their people in the modern version of slavery. Damn and triple damn.

Also please support the Whistleblower Act. This program has ALREADY been FUNDED, but never implemented.
https://www.whistleblowers.org/campaigns/empower-global-wildlife-whistleblowers/

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/
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