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  • Why is it important to create a Biosphere Reserve at the Sea of Cortez and South Californian Pacific?

    The Sea of Cortez started attracting the conservationist community in the 70s, when the Alto Golfo de California (between Baja California and Sonora) started facing the imminent extinction of the Vaquita Marina, which got trapped in the nets of fishermen searching for totoaba; instead of trying to resolve the problem from the root cause, the focus was put on short-term solutions that of course did not tackle the underlying issues.

    Since then, different governments suggested that the answer relied on the creation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), but were oblivious to one of the region’s key players, the artisanal fishermen. By not making them part of the equation, it is now clear why such a bitter issue has not been resolved.

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  • Fishing subsidies: perversity and environmental deterioration

    The world’s oceans are threatened. Few threats are as lethal as subsidies for industrial fishing; I even dare to say these are extremely damaging because they ultimately encourage the overexploitation of the oceans.

    The latter occurs because fishing subsidies ignore or forget the rules that prevail in nature. What I mean is that fish and marine ecosystems have their own timings and capacities, and therefore a population or species can only be exploited to a certain extent. Pass that limit, species collapse and disappear commercially or biologically.

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  • Sharks at Sea of Cortez: current status and conservation opportunities

    Ecologically speaking, we could consider the hammerhead shark already extinct in the Gulf of California; overfishing, decay of their natural habitat and climate change have been lethal for this charismatic marine species.

    However, not all is lost. Science can offer an effective solution to recover the populations of the “king of the seas” who used to inhabit the Sea of Cortez.

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