In this short film, Nicolas Ibarguen travels to the Sea of Cortez, which has been nicknamed the “Aquarium of the World” due to its high diversity of species, and discovers that the conditions in the sea have led to an alarming decline in the marine population.
Video via Fusion
Cabo Pulmo Marine Park
Cabo Pulmo Park is located just 60 miles north of Cabo San Lucas Airport. The Eastcape region of Baja California Sur is one hundred miles of pristine beaches running from the eastern edge of San Jose to Bahia de Los Frailes. The Cabo Pulmo Marine Park extends five miles from the northernmost tip, Pulmo Point at the north end of Cabo Pulmo to the southernmost tip, Los Frailes. The marine park is encircled by mountains and edged by stone and sand beaches of Cabo Pulmo. The Park encompasses the only hard coral reef and one of only three reefs of any kind on the west coast of North America.
Although conservation efforts are headed in the right direction, federal enforcement and financial aid remains scarce and the quest to protect Cabo Pulmo National Park falls heavy on the shoulders of the local community, just 113 residents.
Pic via cabopulmo.com
About Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s)
Some people think marine protected areas are areas closed to all human activities. Others interpret them as special areas established for conservation, but allowing specific recreation and commercial uses, much like national parks. In reality, “marine protected area” is a term that encompasses a variety of conservation and management methods.
The Cabo Pulmo Marine Park has a variety of areas from strict “no-take” zones, restricted fishing, and recreational use other than fishing.
Benefits of MPA’s
Where MPAs exist, there can be increased abundance of fish and larvae both within and outside the MPA and ecosystem resilience is increased because biodiversity is less disrupted. These ecological services contribute to more varied and sustainable coastal livelihoods by increasing fish catch and marine tourism.
Pic via verdexmi.org
The Cabo Pulmo MPA protects critical breeding and nursery areas for fish and invertebrates. As animals mature, many migrate outside of the protected areas and into parts of the ocean where they can be fished. Better management of nursery areas can result in more fisheries export beyond the limits of the MPA. By maximizing export of animals from MPAs, fisheries can be resupplied and potentially enhanced beyond the borders.