Case Study - Operation Milagro (Primary)

SEA SHEPHERD CASE STUDY
OPERATION MILAGRO
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Slide 1: Slide
Social StudiesEnglish+44-6 Grade6th,7th Grade

This lesson contains 17 slides, with interactive quizzes, text slides and 6 videos.

time-iconLesson duration is: 20 min

Introduction

This Case Study connects with our Lesson Plans: Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing. It focuses on our campaign Operation Milagro, working in the Gulf of California with the Mexican Navy to protect the Vaquita.

Instructions

This Case Study connects with our Lesson Plans: Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing 1-3. It focuses on our campaign Operation Milagro, working in the Gulf of California with the Mexican Navy to protect the Vaquita.  

This Case Study takes 20 minutes to complete.

Contact: education@seashepherdglobal.org
© Sea Shepherd 2021

Items in this lesson

SEA SHEPHERD CASE STUDY
OPERATION MILAGRO

Slide 1 - Slide

This lesson is provided by Sea Shepherd.  Sea Shepherd was founded in 1977 and is a marine conservation organisation working to protect the oceans and marine wildlife.  Sea Shepherd works globally on a range of issues impacting the oceans, running numerous direct action campaigns each year.  IUU and ALD are two issues Sea Shepherd is working on to help protect the ocean and marine life.
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Slide 2 - Slide

During the lesson we will use these icons to identify the learning actions.
Operation Milagro commenced in 2015.
Working with the government of Mexico to protect the vaquita.
Operation Milagro commenced in 2015.
Working with the government of Mexico to protect the vaquita.

Slide 3 - Slide

Operation Milagro began in 2015, working in Mexico, in the upper Gulf of California, to help protect the nearly extinct Vaquita.  There are less than 20 of them now left. 

Slide 4 - Map

Gulf of California
The map shows the location of the Gulf of California and the Sea of Cortez.

Slide 5 - Video

The vaquita (Phocoena sinus) is considered to be the world’s smallest cetacean. They are found in the northernmost tip of the Gulf of California also known as the Sea of Cortez. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to a rich ecosystem, that include a wide range of endemic and migratory species.

Despite the obstacles they face to survive the vaquita, with less than 20 left, continue to fight against extinction.

This video (2.38 min) explains the reason for Sea Shepherd’s campaign and why the vaquita is facing extinction.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5Gcqv4TQwY&list=PLNmnNu36NAjgcyD532wDBEeKZJhobLbOv&index=123

Vaquita under threat due to fishing for totoaba fish.
Swim bladder sells for high price in Asia.
Vaquita under threat due to fishing for totoaba.
Totaba swim bladders sell for a high price in Asia.

Slide 6 - Slide

Totoaba
The vaquita has been put at risk due to the illegal fishing activity in the gulf, targeting totoaba fish.  Similar in size to the vaquita, the totoaba is also endangered having been targeted by poachers. The totoaba swim bladder is a popular ingredient for herbal remedies in Asia, attracting a high price that encourages illegal poaching.

Slide 7 - Video

Sea Shepherd’s fleet
Since 2015, Sea Shepherd’s fleet: the Farley Mowat, Sam Simon, White Holly, Sharpie and John Paul DeJoira have all been involved in the Milagro campaign. The Sea Shepherd fleet will continue to patrol and protect the vaquita refuge to save this critically endangered marine mammal and other species that inhabit the Upper Gulf of California.

Show this video (0.51 min) which shows some of the Sea Shepherd fleet work on Operation Milagro
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nl4QWGSV9oM&list=PLNmnNu36NAjgcyD532wDBEeKZJhobLbOv&index=63

Slide 8 - Video

Removing illegal nets
One of the key activities the ships are undertaking is removing illegal nets from the area and collecting old nets left behind.  Sea Shepherd are working with government enforcement officers and the Mexican Navy to remove these nets and stop illegal poachers in the area.  During the campaign Sea Shepherd crews have not only been able to remove the nets but save the lives of entangled whales, sharks, totoaba and other species caught in the nets.

Show this video (1.44 min) which shows gillnets being removed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ED6uvyThCHw&list=PLNmnNu36NAjgcyD532wDBEeKZJhobLbOv&index=113

Slide 9 - Video

Drones
Through the use of high-tech drones, sonar, and crew-invented “phantom ray”, Sea Shepherd locates, identifies, and retrieves the illegal nets, which can be up to 600 meters long and 15 feet deep. Crew identify, document, and release the animals trapped in the nets. When a dead totoaba is found, the whole fish is destroyed to prevent the poachers from gaining any profit from it

Show this video (1.42 min), which shows how drones are used to detect illegal fishing activity:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUlXjdZDntQ&list=PLNmnNu36NAjgcyD532wDBEeKZJhobLbOv&index=81

In 2019, after 5 years of campaigns,
over 1,000 pieces of illegal fishing gear removed.
By 2019, after 5 years of campaigns,
over 1,000 pieces of illegal fishing gear removed.

Slide 10 - Slide

Over 100 miles of net removed
Up to 2019, Sea Shepherd has run five campaigns to save the vaquita, removing about 1,000 pieces (over 100 miles) of illegal fishing gear from the Sea of Cortez, costing the poachers and the cartels that employ them nearly one million USD dollars in fishing gear. 3,400 animals have been rescued alive from the nets. Thousands more protected by the removal of these nets from their habitat.

Slide 11 - Video

Whale caught in nets
Show this video (5.22 min) which shows Sea Shepherd crew working with the Mexican Navy to save a humpback whale caught in nets.  It took the crews 4 hours to free this whale.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L49AbW3wvJY&list=PLNmnNu36NAjgcyD532wDBEeKZJhobLbOv&index=107

Slide 12 - Video

1,000 nets retrieved
Show this video (5.05 min) and hear from Sea Shepherd volunteers from around the world, working on Operation Milagro. See them working to remove illegal nets and saving marine life, as Sea Shepherd reached the milestone of having removed 1,000 illegal nets.  The fight continues to save the vaquita.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epklmFwzn1c&list=PLNmnNu36NAjgcyD532wDBEeKZJhobLbOv&index=12



What are some of the tools being used by Sea Shepherd crews to identify illegal fishing activity and locate nets?

Slide 13 - Open question

Ask students to complete their answers to the following question using the www.LessonUpp.app or discuss in classroom.

“What are some of the tools being used by Sea Shepherd crews to identify illegal fishing activity and locate nets?”



What do you think the risk would be when trying to
release a large animal, like a whale, from nets?

Slide 14 - Open question

Ask students to complete their answers to the following question using the www.LessonUpp.app or discuss in classroom.

“What do you think the risks would be of trying to release a large animal, like a whale, from nets?”



Write down three things you have learned?

Slide 15 - Open question

What did you learn?
Ask students to answer the following question using www.LessonUp.app or discuss in the classroom.  

“Write down three things you have learned?”



Write down one thing you didn't understand?

Slide 16 - Open question

What don’t you understand?
Ask students to answer the following question using www.LessonUp.app or discuss in the classroom.  

“Write down one thing you didn’t understand?”

www.seashepherdglobal.org

Slide 17 - Slide

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