Sea Shepherd Ship’s Windows Smashed and Hull Set on Fire by Poachers
From Sea Shepherd, February 4, 2019
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. Help us continue protecting the vaquita here.
On January 31st, the M/V Farley Mowat was violently attacked by over 50 assailants on board 20 high-speed boats while conducting maritime conservation patrols inside the Vaquita Refuge in the Upper Gulf of California. A total of 52 skiffs were counted, the others attacking Navy boats in the area.
Molotov cocktails and projectiles, including lead weights and large stones, were hurled by the poachers, shattering windows and setting the side of the Sea Shepherd ship on fire. Sea Shepherd crew members fended the attackers off using emergency fire hoses while Mexican Navy soldiers and Federal Police stationed on board opened fire into the air and sea to deter the attackers.
The captain of the M/V Farley Mowat carried out anti-piracy maneuvers. When hailed by radio by the Mexican Naval Frigate Barrera, the M/V Farley Mowat set course towards the vessel stationed inside the Refuge for increased safety. Two Navy Defender inflatable boats also closed in on the scene and were attacked by the poachers. Despite the violence of the assault, no one was injured.
This is the second attack Sea Shepherd has faced this season, occurring within only 21 days of the first. So far, no arrests have been made.
The incident coincides with the premiere of the film Sea of Shadows at Sundance
We are risk-takers. For over 40 years, we have grown from a small organization to a global movement of thousands of passionate volunteers from dozens of nations. What has never changed is our attitude.
We put ourselves on the front lines to expose the truth, save marine wildlife, conduct vital research and stop illegal activity through collaborative campaigns with communities and governments through lawful means and in accordance to international charters and declarations.