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Operation Milagro

↓ Operation Milagro
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Research vessel M/Y Martin Sheen participating in the first edition of Operation Milagro.
Author: Sea Shepherd
Research vessel M/Y Martin Sheen participating in the first edition of Operation Milagro.

"Operation Milagro" ("Operation Miracle"), conducted by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, is dedicated to protecting the vaquita whale - an endangered marine mammal inhabiting the waters of the Gulf of California in Mexico. The vaquita is currently the most endangered whale species in the world, with its population estimated at 10-13 individuals (as of 2023).

The Sea Shepherd research vessel, RV Martin Sheen, donated by the well-known actor and named after him, was used to collect data that could contribute to the survival of the remaining whales.

During Operation Milagro, the crew of the RV Martin Sheen, under the command of Captain Oona Loyola, documented the difficult situation of these endangered whales, studied the causes of the population decline, and, in cooperation with marine biologists, vaquita species experts, and other organizations, conducted informational activities in the region. The crew used various methods of data collection, including diving, to best illustrate the critical situation of the species.

The actions taken by Sea Shepherd as part of Operation Milagro have helped to raise awareness among Mexican politicians, ordinary citizens, and the international community about the dire situation of this critically endangered species. They have also laid the foundation for subsequent editions of Operation Milagro, which have been carried out over the years with even greater effort and resources.

For more information about Operation Milagro, visit:


↓ Date of the project

2015 - ongoing

↓ Location
Sea of Cortez, Mexico
↓ Goals

Shepherd Conservation Society’s Operation Milargo (Operation Miracle) is dedicated to the conservation of the endangered vaquita porpoise, a species on the brink of extinction.

↓ Team
  • Sea Shepherd crew of the R/V Martin Sheen
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