Protecting a playground for whales | Global Ideas | DW | 24.03.2015
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Global Ideas

Protecting a playground for whales

Dolphins, whales and fish are among the many marine inhabitants that pass through the Gulf of California. Locals need them to continue visiting and are creating protected areas and sustainable fisheries to help.

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Watch the report from Mexico

Project goal: Sustainable use of biological resources and protection of marine and coastal biodiversity
Implementation: Protected areas such as new national parks are to be established in cooperation with the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP), the local population and public authorities
Size: The Gulf of California stretches for 1,200 km along Mexico's coastline and is already home to 18 national parks
Volume: The International Climate Initiative (IKI) is supporting the project with 9 million euros
Biological diversity: Almost all the world's whale species, including humpbacks, finbacks, sperm, blue, pilot and gray whales can be found in the Gulf of California. The area is not only teeming with marine life - around a quarter of all sea mammals live in the region - it's also a kind of nursery. This is where many whale species come to breed and bring their young into the world.

Local communities are working hard to keep it that way. The Bahia de Loreto Marine Park was established on the initiative of residents there to keep commercial shrimp trawlers at bay. A women's cooperative in the region is also leading the charge with a project that promotes sustainable fishing of aquarium fish. Even in Cabo Pulmo, a unique coral reef, fishermen are maintaining the park. The protection of this relatively small area is extremely important - it serves as a breeding ground for fish and larvae that migrate to neighboring ecosystems where they contribute to their balance.

A film by Katja Losch

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