The world’s most endangered marine mammal just received a little more hope for survival. The government of Mexico recently committed to a two year buy out of gillnet fisheries in the upper Gulf of California. Vaquita populations have declined dramatically in the past few years primarily because they get caught in gillnets and drown.
An ocean victory was declared on June 15, 2012 when Mexican President Felipe Calderón announced his decision to cancel the development permit for the Cabo Cortes mega tourist development. This development would have threatened the future of Cabo Pulmo Marine Park and the livelihoods of the local community.
We hit the trifecta. After an 18-hour boat ride through the wild waters of the Pacific, we reached Magdalena Bay, Mexico. The water was still. The sky was solid blue. We were told by our guides that dozens of gray whales, each just a few weeks old, were in this part of the bay and at the stage of their life when they wanted to do what all children want to do: play. It was the perfect set-up for whale watching.