The Last Vaquita?

Jungle Jim

Well Known Member
#2
Totoaba battle in El Golfo,

Last weekend the Cartel King of stinkin fish bladders was killed in El Golfo de Santa Clara by El Golfo policia in his front yard. Two El Golfo police officers down, one with up to 18 AK rounds en la cabesa. The other critical. The hijo of the king escaped, most likely in among the mass of weekend border crossers like me.

JJ
 

jerry

Well Known Member
#3
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Jim, sounds like the dead cops got him released earlier in the day from state police.....
 
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Jungle Jim

Well Known Member
#5
Hey Jerry,

Thanks for the update.

The crew of HMS Charlie Sheen's Daddy must really be a whoopin it up tonite!! We see em out there in their boats every time we head down to PP along the Coastal Highway. Typical tree huggin wanna be VIP BS, especially when they are the only ones allowed to be cruzin in the protected zona. Los Marinos Mexicanos must really dig it hanging out with those hairy armpit chickies crewin the two boats. My god do I love wakin up in the morning to the smell of a chick reekin with Patchouli Oil and three month old BO! Takes a month or more to get the stink out of your skin and bloodstream. Kinda like havin a zorillo blast you in the belly and bathing in tomato juice for a month. I plan on headin out there in my "Hammer Time" later this month to incite a confrontation with them just to see how it plays out. I'll keep ya posted.

Later,

JJ
 

jerry

Well Known Member
#6
Jim, be careful up that way...a execution in Sonoyta of sons of two prominent families tied to cartel with a banner appeared Monday
 

jerry

Well Known Member
#7
Hey Jerry,

Thanks for the update.

The crew of HMS Charlie Sheen's Daddy must really be a whoopin it up tonite!! We see em out there in their boats every time we head down to PP along the Coastal Highway. Typical tree huggin wanna be VIP BS, especially when they are the only ones allowed to be cruzin in the protected zona. Los Marinos Mexicanos must really dig it hanging out with those hairy armpit chickies crewin the two boats. My god do I love wakin up in the morning to the smell of a chick reekin with Patchouli Oil and three month old BO! Takes a month or more to get the stink out of your skin and bloodstream. Kinda like havin a zorillo blast you in the belly and bathing in tomato juice for a month. I plan on headin out there in my "Hammer Time" later this month to incite a confrontation with them just to see how it plays out. I'll keep ya posted.

Later,

JJ
Do not want to picture why you would have a striped polecat on your lap!
 

gringorio

Junior Member
#8
Hey Jerry,

Thanks for the update.

The crew of HMS Charlie Sheen's Daddy must really be a whoopin it up tonite!! We see em out there in their boats every time we head down to PP along the Coastal Highway. Typical tree huggin wanna be VIP BS, especially when they are the only ones allowed to be cruzin in the protected zona. Los Marinos Mexicanos must really dig it hanging out with those hairy armpit chickies crewin the two boats. My god do I love wakin up in the morning to the smell of a chick reekin with Patchouli Oil and three month old BO! Takes a month or more to get the stink out of your skin and bloodstream. Kinda like havin a zorillo blast you in the belly and bathing in tomato juice for a month. I plan on headin out there in my "Hammer Time" later this month to incite a confrontation with them just to see how it plays out. I'll keep ya posted.

Later,

JJ
As far as I can tell, they have actually accomplished something that no one else has been able to up to this point. Who cares if they are 'tree-huggers' or have hairy armpits. They are out there pulling up gill-nets and long-lines ...
 
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gringorio

Junior Member
#9
Hey everyone,

How are things going recently with the vaquita? Any local news about strandings or dead vaquita? Sea turtles?

Hope to take some cool aerials of Cholla Bay later in January!
 

Jungle Jim

Well Known Member
#10
Last month on Friday 29 November we had the most unusual pleasure to watch three Vaquitas, two adults and a juvenile less than three feet long playing in the surf less than 100 feet from shore. They were watching us as well! They followed us in our Wrangler and every time we stopped to photograph a dead sea turtle or pick up some washed up oddity they would stop too. We were combing the beach and dunes about midway up Salinas Point maybe five miles north of the fish camp known as El Jaguey.

We were able to positively identify them as Vaquitas by their short rounded black dorsal fins and we could clearly see their distinctive black and white faces when they were "spy hopping" us. That ten mile stretch of beach had thirty seven dead Olive Ridleys rotting in the sun as well as a very fresh California Sea Lion that had been killed by a Great White Shark. It was missing it's left rear flipper along with a piece of meat as big as two Homer buckets. The teeth marks on the skin and blubber were quite obvious.

There were hundreds of Turkey Vultures feasting on the windfall and we saw about a dozen Black Vultures as well. The pangueros at El Jaguey were targeting Pink Murex Snails with the use of rectangular chicken wire traps. I asked them where the Caracols were heading to and they said Korea. They had 55 gallon steel drums fired up with Mesquite wood and were boiling up the snails in order to pick out the little 3/4 inch diameter piece of meat. They told me that they were getting 500 pesos for a kilo of them which probably equates to around five or six hundred animals. The dirt track behind the camp and on to the village at La Cuerva was just covered with five foot tall heaps of picked out Murex shells probably in the millions. It's really hard to comprehend that there are or were that many Murexes out there in the Gulf.

On our way off of the strand and over the dunes we passed through some of the finest Saguaro, Senita and Bigelow Cholla cactus forest that I've ever seen. We saw a gang of Harris Hawks working together flushing Cottontail Rabbits from the brush.
After getting to the agricultural area mostly asparagus now, we found the processing plant where all of the Murexes were being sold it's near the big microwave tower that you can see from the coastal highway just south of the Herradura gold mine entrance.

I didn't mention the "bycatch" or "collateral kill" involved with the snail traps but it is shocking.

Later,

JJ
 

Landshark

Well Known Member
Forum Supporter
#11
Great post Jim, I could read this kinda stuff all day. Salinas Point is a great place, can't wait to get back down there. Really cool story about seeing the vaquitas, didn't know they ventured that far south. Sure hope they don't run into any of the damn gill nets that seem to be everywhere. As for the Asians passion for "seafood" I am as usual just shaking my head. Gonna be hard to stop the destruction until something changes.
 

Jungle Jim

Well Known Member
#12
Thanks Shark..........

As for the collateral kill that was hopelessly doomed for only being guilty of venturing into those chicken wire traps, I must say I'm no snowflake-weenie type but I always feel sad then pissed when I see it. Those pangueros could easily free those unwanted animals but I guess time-is-money to them as well.

Their fishing method is to drop those baited wire traps out there somewhere south of Isla San Jorge with a 1/4" poly line and a colored identifying float, usually a one liter plastic soda bottle. They drop thirty or forty of them in a line a hundred feet or so apart. The next day they pull em all up and stack them on the panga and boot scoot back to El Jaguey where a pickup truck with a really shitty rusted out old trailer is waiting for them in the surf. They run up onto the trailer and the truck pulls em up to the fish camp where another truck is waiting for them with plastic trays maybe two feet square and a foot tall. The pangueros open up one side of the trap, pick out the Murexes and dump the "bad" stuff into the hull of the boat. Of course most of the bad stuff is still alive and kicking. The guys with the trays keep a tally of each boats take then head inland where the 55 gallon drums are boiling and waiting. The meat pickers are women and kids whom I first thought were the families of the pangueros but later to find out are paid laborers from the farming villages over near the highway.

Anyways, as the traps are neatly stacked back onto the panga they are re-baited by picking through the by-catch, slash up a fish or two and toss em in as bait. As the truck trailers them back to the sea they shovel out all of the "junk" along the beach, of course they could do this once on the water but I believe they do it deliberately so as not to have to catch them again. The fresh meat on the beach attracts hundreds of Gulls, Pelicans and Vultures. There seems to more by-catch than money making stuff, similar to the disproportionate kill that the shrimp trawlers are so famous for.

I made some notes that day listing the unfortunates still squirming on the beach, most were small to mid-sized fish to include puffers, porcupine fish, triggers, lizard fish, sea robins and snake eels. Crustaceans included, blue crabs, box crabs and a lot of large hermit crabs.

This type of trapping is the reason why around most Caribbean islands there are no reef fish larger than the openings on a chicken wire trap!

Later,

JJ
 

jerry

Well Known Member
#13
Great posts amigo! As bad as this is the human side is just about as bad.The Chinese/Korean packer is tied to " Los Rummas" see this old storyhttp://elzeta1000.blogspot.com/2012/03/ataca-policia-federal-los-rumas-en-la.html
They now control all the fishing camps from Salinas Point to Tanques south of Desemboque.The pecaderos can no longer sell their own catch.The boys from Sinaloa rule these fish camps and beat the fishermen if they are caught selling on there own.For example if a large grouper would fetch 400 pesos in the fish market in RP or from a independent buyer they now get 200 as Rummas sets the prices,charges fees for bribes paid to the Marines,gas and other expenses...it is almost not worth fishing but if you are not producing a gancho de helgado or three is your penalty....those sorters are making a few bucks a day....
 

Jungle Jim

Well Known Member
#14
Hey Jerry..................

Really glad your back, thought that you had retired to Edmonton or Red Deer. I'm sure that you have seen that this forum has been infiltrated by some really low life infantile sewer mouthed midget minded jerks that spew not even one shred of subject matter related to Rocky Point, Sonora or anywhere in Mexico. Their five word posts are a wonderment. Our moderator seems to connect with them somehow.

Anyway, I've managed to become friendly with the initially gruff and stink-eyed pangueros at EL Jaguey. We bought some really awesome huge Gulf Blue Shrimp from them last May and they now let me pick through their by-catch for any tasty tidbits at no cost. Several times last summer we bought small but fresh Sierras from them. Those big baseball sized deep water Hermit Crabs that they toss from their Blue Crab and Murex traps are a taste delight. We steam em and twist em out of their shells then dip em in hot garlic butter. Their corkscrew tails are solid meat and they are as delicious as any fresh lobster and FREE!

Lately no one at that campo has given us any bad vibes at all, and they recognize my red Wrangler when I drive up and continue with their work. Most of them are very talkative and seem to enjoy our interest in their operation. They have no problems with my wife taking photos and we always give out a few cold TKT's. They do have a little shack where they sell sodas and snacks and we always buy a bag of chips or something. Their dog pack is loud and defensive at first but calm down fast and go right back to the snooze mode in a few minutes.

I'll be down yer way next weekend, maybe see ya then.

JJ
 

Jungle Jim

Well Known Member
#20
Hola Miramar..............

I'm sure that the net removal in that article was only conducted in the so called "Protected Zone" north of Cholla Bay and on up to El Golfo.

Anything goes out of Bahia San Jorge and on southwards. There are no restrictions or enforcement of any kind unless accompanied by a well armed military contingency and they are the last guys looking for an altercation. Especially, as Jerry noted above that the "Wild Bunch" who control that area already have the military in their pockets. To get a "feel" of the situation, just take a little day trip down to the big fish camp on the beach at El Desemboque, not your average "Sun-N-Fun" family on the beach kinda destination to say the least.

The fact is that there is so much abandoned and discarded fishing gear out there that in my opinion it has become useful habitat for a lot of animals that otherwise could have never got a foothold on the flat slick "parking lot" bottom that the trawlers have so effectively manicured over the years. When the stuff washes up on the beach, especially if it's been out there for awhile, it's usually loaded with life. Those unfortunates that lost their life entangled in the mess become a windfall for all sorts of other critters.

Do a little scuba dive on the outer edges of Isla San Jorge and you will get an idea what goes on. The trawlers seriously avoid any type of bottom structure since a hang-up could mean the loss of thousands of dollars worth of gear. They do get hung-up though and the junk stays out there for years. There is a little underwater pinnacle out there that is only visible at low tide, AKA: The Widow Maker. It is usually surrounded with hung-up nets and a just few years back, the remains of a trawler that ended up in Davey Jones Locker when it got in too close. It used to be a popular dive spot with some depth, wild ripping currents and lots of big Groupers. It's still a good spot for a close-in troll with a deep diving lure that will bring in a good one with every pass.

A few things to consider about the "ghost nets", most of that stuff is made of the crappiest materials made that really won't last long in the conditions out there. Once the floats (soda pop bottles) that suspend the nets get swamped and sink or are torn off by high tides or rough seas, they then allow the net to sink to the bottom and is no longer a threat to anything in the water column. The crab traps they use are made of of the cheapest off-the-shelf chicken wire that corrodes away to nothing after a few weeks in salt water. Once on the bottom, the monofilament of the nets quickly becomes covered with encrusting algae then all sorts of animals and just gets heavier and heavier. I regularly see washed up lengths of old mono nets with invertebrates as big as adult Pearl Oysters and black Mussels attached to them, those things aren't a threat to any Vaquita or Giant Sea Bass.

Just my dumb ass "blow hard" opinion...

JJ
 
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