Vaquita Porpoise: Operation Milagro

Saving the Vaquita Porpoise

The vaquita is the world’s most endangered marine mammal. There are fewer than 20 left alive.

Entanglement in illegal fishing gear is the primary threat to the species.

Operation Milagro (Spanish for “miracle”) is Sea Shepherd’s campaign to save the critically endangered vaquita porpoise – a species threatened with imminent extinction.

The vaquita is an endemic species of porpoise found only in a small region in Mexico’s Upper Gulf of California. Illegal fishing is responsible for the decline of this species, whose numbers have plummeted to fewer than 20 individuals.

Since 2015, Sea Shepherd is working with Mexican authorities and leading researchers to save this species and remove the illegal fishing gear that plagues the Vaquita Refuge – a UNESCO-recognized and federally protected area in which gillnet fishing is banned. Six ships from the Sea Shepherd fleet – the Martin Sheen, the Farley Mowat, the Sam Simon, the John Paul DeJoria, the White Holly, and the Sharpie – have collectively removed over 1,000 pieces of illegal fishing gear from the refuge to date, directly saving the lives of over 4,000 animals and giving the vaquita a fighting chance at survival.

Every moment, every gillnet, and every remaining vaquita can mean the difference between survival and extinction for this rare cetacean. Your support can help save a species.

Visit to get involved before time runs out.