by Corey Dahlquist

Corey Dahlquist. Photo: Carolina A CastroToday is a Sea day – we are almost complete with our transit from the Vaquita refuge near San Felipe, Baja, Mexico to San Diego, California.  It’s cloudy, windy, and a bit bumpy.  I imagine that everything I am feeling is like unto what thousands of Sailors felt before me and that thousands more will feel after.

Operation Milagro is the most unprecedented success for Sea Shepherd as well as in global conservation history. As our mission comes to a close I am overwhelmed with all of the accomplishments that I share with this extraordinary crew – from the Captain to the media to the newest deckhand.  Everyone contributed immeasurably to the partnership with the Mexican government, the Mexican Navy, the local community, and to removing 42 illegal nets and 16 illegal long-lines from the Vaquita refuge and the gillnet exclusion zone in the Sea of Cortez.  We destroyed over 100 net and long-line anchors, collected and destroyed over 2000 long-line hooks, and created 10 variants of our signature “Phantom Ray” net and long-line catcher three of which we presented to the Mexican Navy to carry on operations during our brief departure.  Most importantly, the sea life saved from those nets, lines, and hooks may be measured in numbers but can never be measured in their continuing contribution to the earth and the marine ecosystem.

 

I didn’t join Sea Shepherd because I have a degree in environmental management.  I didn’t join Sea Shepherd because of its Vegan policy.  I joined Sea Shepherd because of one thing only.  Direct Action.  If you are a person, organization, or government that indirectly supports the illegal and wholesale slaughter of endangered marine wildlife for profit and gain or is unmoved by the slaughter of sea life improperly and coldly categorized as “by catch” in support of your legal fisheries then we will arrive, we will find you, and we will stop you.  We will do everything within our power, aside from violence, to protect our oceans for future generations and ensure that endangered sea life will have a fighting chance to recover and prosper.

When belief and action transcend money or any type of personal gain and a group of those individuals are organized and provided with the right tools they become unstoppable.  There is, however, one caveat.  Too often we measure success incorrectly.  People want to see the bottom line and that bottom line is usually depicted as numbers.  No one can measure the pure and raw emotion felt when you save a life – whether it be a mammal, fish, or simple crustacean.  You can only experience it for yourself.  

Corey Dahlquist. Photo: KWTo enjoy that feeling on a team that is just as dedicated as you are to the same mission, task, purpose, and cause, is likewise immeasurable.  The team assembled for Operation Milagro II are my friends.  They will be lifelong friends because we engaged in operations that, just like my service in the United States Army and the friendships I made there, brought us to the pinnacle of the meaning of life and the meaning of saving lives and then took us on the emotional journey of experiencing it for ourselves.  There is no substitute for this feeling and it cannot be replicated artificially.   

I am deeply and profoundly grateful for the opportunity to serve with Sea Shepherd and with two of the best crews ever assembled in the M/V Farley Mowat (2) and the R/V Martin Sheen for this operation.  There is something to be said for a group of individuals from all over the world with various backgrounds, beliefs, and ages to come together and work as professionals.  We are not professionals.  But, our leadership, teamwork, work ethic, and beliefs would convince any of you that we had been working together for years, not to mention receiving a substantial amount of pay or salaries for our effort.  That type of unit cohesion doesn’t happen often and, even more rarely, does it ever happen with a group of volunteers.  There is not one person more important than the other.  There is not one person who believed they contributed more than another.  Everyone did what he or she could when they could and then did more.  That is success and in my mind every leader’s dream come true when he or she sets out on a just cause or mission and asks people of like mind to follow him or her.  

To our crews, I salute you.  To our supporters, I thank you. You all are truly what makes Sea Shepherd great and what makes this world and all of its life worth fighting for.      

Very Respectfully,
Corey Dahlquist
Deckhand and Medical Officer

Nolan Corey saving crab from totoaba net

Totoaba net anchors

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Milagro III

Op Milagro V Episode 9 - NEW KID ON THE BLOCK
Watch the new episode of Operation Milagro's web-series. Share it with your friends and stay tuned every Wednesday morning for new episodes. #OpMilagro is Sea Shepherd's campaign to protect the most endangered marine mammal in the world - Mexico's V...
57 Dead Sharks In One Gillnet Found by Sea Shepherd
The MV White Holly finds 57 dead sharks, along with dozens of other species in the Upper Gulf Of California while on Operation Milagro V. Help save a species: https://goo.gl/wJqxyh
Op Milagro V Episode 8 - GHOSTBUSTERS
Watch the new episode of Operation Milagro's web-series. Share it with your friends and stay tuned every Wednesday morning for new episodes. #OpMilagro is Sea Shepherd's campaign to protect the most endangered marine mammal in the world - Mexico's V...
Op Milagro V Episode 6 - RIDE OR DIE
Op Milagro V Episode 6 - RIDE OR DIE Watch the new episode of Operation Milagro's web-series. Share it with your friends and stay tuned every Wednesday morning for new episodes. #OpMilagro is Sea Shepherd's campaign to protect the most endangered m...
Op Milagro V Episode 7 - TOP GUN
Op Milagro V Episode 7 - TOP GUN Watch the new episode of Operation Milagro's web-series. Share it with your friends and stay tuned every Wednesday morning for new episodes. #OpMilagro is Sea Shepherd's campaign to protect the most Endangered marin...
Sea Shepherd's White Holly joins the fight to save the vaquita porpoise
The M/V White Holly has arrived in the Upper Gulf of California. The M/V Farley Mowat and The M/V Sharpie celebrated the arrival of the White Holly by performing a water salute! Three Sea Shepherd ships fighting to protect the most endangered marin...
Op Milagro V Episode 5 - "WHALE WARS"
Op Milagro V Episode 5 - "WHALE WARS" Watch the new episode of Operation Milagro's web-series. Share it with your friends and stay tuned every Wednesday morning for new episodes. #OpMilagro is Sea Shepherd's campaign to protect the most endangered m...
Op Milagro V Episode 4 - TWO SHIPS ONE TEAM
Watch the new episode of Operation Milagro's web-series. Share it with your friends and stay tuned every Wednesday morning for new episodes. #OpMilagro is Sea Shepherd's campaign to protect the most endangered marine mammal in the world - Mexico's V...
Op Milagro V Episode 3 - RIGHT BEFORE OUR EYES
Watch the new episode of Operation Milagro's web-series. Share it with your friends and stay tuned every Wednesday morning for new episodes. #OpMilagro is Sea Shepherd's campaign to protect the most endangered marine mammal in the world - Mexico's V...
Op Milagro V Episode 2 - WORTH ITS WEIGHT IN GOLD
Watch the new episode of Operation Milagro's web-series. Share it with your friends and stay tuned every Wednesday morning for new episodes. #OpMilagro is Sea Shepherd's campaign to protect the most Endangered marine mammal in the world - Mexico's V...
Op Milagro V Episode 1 - HOUSE OF THE VAQUITA
We are happy to announce that the #OpMilagro Vlog (Web-series) is back! Join the Sea Shepherd crew and watch our work to save the most endangered marine mammal in the world - Mexico's vaquita porpoise. Watch all episodes at http://tinyurl.com/y2bjs4...
SEA SHEPHERD DISCOVERS DEAD VAQUITA CAUGHT IN GILLNET
On March 12th, 2019 Sea Shepherd ship The M/V Farley Mowat crew discovered a dead vaquita trapped in a totoaba gillnet. Recently, scientists revealed there are at most 22 vaquitas left in the Sea of Cortez. This is a devastating discovery, but Sea S...
IT REALLY IS A MATTER OF LIFE, DEATH, AND EXTINCTION.
IT REALLY IS A MATTER OF LIFE, DEATH, AND EXTINCTION. We must not and we cannot allow the poachers to intimidate and threaten us. We have secured some defensive gear but we still need more. We are halfway there. Please help us achieve our goal of ke...
FULL VIDEO - SEA SHEPHERD ATTACKED BY POACHERS Jan 31, 2019
FULL VIDEO - On January 31st, 2019, Sea Shepherd’s MV Farley Mowat was attacked by poachers while patrolling the Vaquita Refuge for Operation Milagro. For English subtitles click on CC, on the bottom right. Posing as fishermen, these criminals la...
SEA SHEPHERD SHIP’S WINDOWS SMASHED AND HULL SET ON FIRE BY POACHERS
Hope shattered for vaquita survival as Sea Shepherd ship violently attacked by poachers in the Gulf of California, suffering damage from projectiles and Molotov cocktails while protecting world’s most endangered marine mammal: the vaquita porpoise....
SEA SHEPHERD Crew Update on Attack in Vaquita Refuge
SEA SHEPHERD CREW UPDATE ON ATTACK IN VAQUITA REFUGE Help us bring a second vessel to Op Milagro and give hope for the survival of a species. DONATE NOW at: https://goo.gl/1B931Z
SEA SHEPHERD SHIP ATTACKED INSIDE VAQUITA REFUGE
Sea Shepherd Vessel M/V Farley Mowat was conducting maritime patrols inside the Vaquita Refuge in the Upper Gulf of California, and had recovered three illegal gillnets that morning, when at 1:00 PM the crew noticed approximately 35 skiffs operating ...
Op Milagro V - Saving the First Totoaba of the Season and More...
Saving the First Totoaba of the Season and More... Take a look at some busy days on The M/V Farley Mowat The Sea Shepherd crew has been working day and night to protect the vaquita refuge from poachers. This season is already starting to shape up l...
Op Milagro V - Sea Shepherd Finds First Totoaba Nets of the Season
Operation Milagro V started a few months ago and Sea Shepherd has been removing Ghost Nets and other kinds of illegal fishing gear from vaquita refuge. On the night of 10th of December while patrolling the vaquita refuge, the crew of Sea Shepherd's...
Op Milagro V - Update Video 2
Take a look at the life of the crew onboard The M/V Farley Mowat and Sea Shepherd's work to protect the vaquita porpoise. Support our mission at: https://goo.gl/wJqxyh
#OpMilagro V Video Update
#OpMilagro V Video Update. Check out the life aboard The M/V Farley Mowat. This is a compilation from the early days of campaign. Enjoy. Support our mission to save the most endangered marine mammal in the world at: https://goo.gl/rWY1cM
SEA SHEPHERD JOINS SEARCH AND RECOVERY OF MEXICAN NAVY HELICOPTER
During the late afternoon of Saturday, October 20th, 2018, a Mexican Navy helicopter crashed into the ocean while engaged in anti-poaching patrols over the Vaquita Refuge in the Upper Gulf of California (a.k.a. Sea of Cortez). The reason for the cras...
Sea Shepherd's Operation Milagro V Launch
#BREAKING #OpMilagro V started! Sea Shepherd Initiates Early Patrols to Safeguard Survival of Critically Endangered Vaquita Porpoise Sea Shepherd vessel The M/V Farley Mowat has arrived in the Upper Gulf of California to start Operation Milagro earl...
Sea Shepherd Recycled Dive Weights
Sea Shepherd recycled Branded Dive Weights are AVAILABLE NOW at: https://shop.paulwatson.com They were made from illegal fishing nets captured in the Sea of Cortez. Limited amount available so get them while you can in 2lb, 3lb and 4lb. This ensure...