The Gulf of California in Mexico was named the "World's
Aquarium" by Jacques Cousteau because of the wealth of marine life.
But it is also an example of many of the major threats to all
oceans. It is one of the world's most productive and biologically
diverse marine ecosystems, with some of the richest fisheries in
the world. It is home to more than thirty species of marine mammals
and the world's most endangered porpoise - the vaquita. The region
has huge economic benefit for the whole of Mexico, bringing nearly
five million tourists and providing half the country's fish supply.
But pressure from destructive fishing, pollution and uncontrolled
tourism development are threatening life in the Aquarium.
"The future of the region depends upon the seas staying healthy.
Mexico can take the lead internationally by protecting the Gulf of
California, not only because it is one of the world's richest
marine ecosystems but because all threats which we have witnessed
in the rest of the world converge here," said Alejandro Olivera of
Greenpeace Mexico. "A network of marine reserves in the Gulf of
California would benefit fishing, local communities and the
Today Greenpeace presented a report to officials and leading
marine scientists in La Paz, outlining a plan to protect the region
from the major threats (2). The Gulf of California would become
part of a global network of marine reserves covering 40% of the
Tomorrow, November 18th the Defending Our Ocean expedition
celebrates one year campaigning for the establishment of marine
reserves. The tour began in Cape Town, South Africa, from where the
Esperanza left to defend the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary from
the whaling fleets.
"Every second breath we take comes from the oceans - they give
the planet half of its oxygen. In return we suffocate them with
pollution, warm them with climate change and empty them of fish,"
said Karli Thomas of Greenpeace International "Only through
establishing and enforcing a global network of marine reserves can
we avoid the collapse of the world's fisheries and the crisis
facing our oceans."
Greenpeace is an independent, campaigning organisation, which
uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global
environmental problems, and to force solutions essential to a green
and peaceful future.
Other contacts: Karli Thomas, Greenpeace International, on board the MY Esperanza, on +47 514 07987Alejandro Olivera, Greenpeace Mexico, in La Paz, on +52 55 2971 1217Isabel Leal, Greenpeace International Communications, in La Paz, on +52 55 3905 5049
Notes: (1) The Defending Our Oceans campaign is a 16-month expedition to highlight the threats to and beauty of the oceans and demand a global network of marine reserves, covering 40% of the world’s oceans. (2) The report A Marine Reserve Network for the Gulf of California is available athttp://oceans.greenpeace.org/gulf-of-california
Exp. contact date: 2006-12-10 00:00:00