“BAJA” was produced to show and share with the world the amazingly beautiful creatures that inhabit the waters around the Baja California Peninsula including the Revillagigedo Archipelago of Mexico and with the express purpose of increasing the awareness and importance of preserving the marine life that still exists, especially those most threatened. In the last 22 years, Live-Aboard Eco Diving has played an important role in bringing recognition within the diving and non-diving community worldwide of the incredible marine life surrounding the Revillagigedo Archipelago rivaling such destination as Galapagos and Cocos as one of the best in the world as you will see in this video.

Many fish stocks worldwide, especially sharks, have been depleted due to uncontrolled illegal fishing worldwide, especially in marine protected and breeding areas.

Sharks are key species on our planet that regulate marine ecosystems, maintaining healthy marine populations and gene pools; if they were fished to extinction this would cause an alarming imbalance in all marine ecosystems. With improved efforts from Mexican government agencies and in coordination with the tourist sector, some protected areas such as Cabo Pulmo and the Revillagigedo Archipelago have seen a significant increase in shark and other marine life populations. It will be very important to continue these coordinated efforts and manage load capacities to insure continued population improvements in these areas.

Unfortunately shark populations worldwide are being systematically destroyed due to demand from Asian countries to produce “shark fin soup” and other shark derivatives, supposedly pseudo-medicinal and aphrodisiacs. Each year more than 70 million sharks are killed worldwide to produce shark fin soup.

Mantas are hunted and killed for their gill rakers (internal structures that Manta rays use to absorb oxygen from the sea and also filter plankton on which they feed), which are promoted as an unsubstantiated Chinese medicinal cure for a variety of ailments. The gill raker trade is valued at $11 million annually. Unsustainable in nature, this trade jeopardizes the sustainable global tourism market for these gentle giants valued at over $100 million annually.

The gruesome and cruel destruction of these majestic creatures is unnecessary, tragic and extremely alarming. Giant Mantas, which have roamed the oceans for over 150 million years and hold a special place in the heart of each and every diver who cares about the future of our oceans, are becoming increasingly in danger.

It is imperative that we act quickly to protect endangered marine life populations that still prevail before it’s too late. There is still time to act. It is our responsibility to do so before these valuable and important species disappear and in order to share their splendor with future generations to come.

Awareness is up to you.

By Erick Higuera

Featured on Votiv Earth on June 2nd, 2015