Mexico’s Gulf of California (Gulf) is one of the most productive bodies of water in the world. Tidal mixing and upwelling bring cold, nutrient-rich waters to the surface, where photosynthesis produces abundant plankton. This productivity continues up the food chain, resulting in thousands of species of invertebrates and massive numbers of small pelagic ﬁsh, to large reef ﬁsh, sharks, seabirds, sea turtles, and marine mammals. The Gulf also supports the most important ﬁshing industry in Mexico and provides the majority of the country’s ﬁsheries exports by value.
Although the Gulf is still relatively undisturbed compared with other large marine ecosystems, it is undergoing rapid and at times, highly disruptive changes. Some of the most signiﬁcant and immediate threats are the impacts from industrial bottom trawling, the growth of the small-scale ﬁshing industry, and expanding and often poorly planned coastal development.
The vision of the Conservation and Science program’s Gulf of California subprogram is that the Gulf region is one where local communities and government are eﬀective stewards of their oceans and coasts and where a variety of resilient, interconnected ecosystems maintain biological diversity and produce the goods and services needed to support strong economies and local well-being.
The subprogram’s goal is to ensure that the capacity for safeguarding the region’s biological diversity, ecosystem goods and services, and social well-being is in place.
To this end, we support organizations that endeavor to protect the Gulf of California region, including the Pacific side of the Baja California peninsula, while promoting the sustainable use of its rich biological resources.
Specifically we support:
- Efforts to reverse the trend of overexploitation of key ﬁsheries, fishery-related ecosystem degradation, and the establishment of sound ﬁshery management systems
- The expansion and strengthening of a network of sustainably managed marine areas that are key to safeguarding the region’s biological diversity and productivity
- The establishment mechanisms to maintain the integrity of key coastal sites
- The strengthening of organizational capacity and ﬁnancial resources needed for long-term management, conservation, and monitoring
Please read the full Gulf of California Suprogram Strategy for further information. (Photo: Miguel Angel de la Cueva)