There are few places on Earth that compare to the extreme contrasts of the Baja Peninsula. The landscape here is desolate, yet endemic plants and animals thrive. For a thousand miles, deserts and mountains plunge into a vermilion sea. Marine biologist, Jacques Cousteau referred to this place as the “aquarium of the world;” it one of the most biodiverse marine ecosystems on the planet. Life flourishes in the Sea of Cortez, yet it is one of the most impacted areas by overfishing. The remoteness of this region accompanied with poorly enforced regulations has allowed illegal fishing to prosper here, threatening the existence of this fragile ecosystem.
Apart from the environmental impacts overfishing has on the region, local fishing communities have been most impacted by the modernized fleets of commercial fishing vessels. For generations, these communities have relied on the ocean to survive. Now, they are left with few options to support themselves and their families. Consequently, many fishermen are coerced into shark finning and sea turtle poaching to compensate for their economic loss. Geographic isolation and insufficient funding towards education further challenge many of these communities, often forcing families to migrate elsewhere in search of alternate sources of income, dismantling communities.
We believe there is a greater way to pave the future for marine communities in Mexico and worldwide.