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Posts Tagged ‘Baja California

22 cruise ship passengers robbed in Mexican seaside resort

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Twenty-two Carnival Cruise Lines passengers were robbed of valuables and their passports during a shore excursion in the Mexico seaside resort of Puerto Vallarta…

The passengers were robbed Thursday during a guided trail excursion, according to a statement released by the cruise line.

The cruise line did not provide details of the robbery, saying only that there were no injuries and the tour was suspended on future sailings under further notice. “Carnival is working with guests to reimburse them for lost valuables and assist with lost passports or other forms of identification,” the statement said.

The robbery comes two weeks after the U.S. State Department issued a travel warning to Americans to avoid all but essential travel to all or parts of 14 Mexican states, including the state of Jalisco. Puerto Vallarta is the sixth-largest city in Jalisco.

The State Department also warned travelers to use caution in visiting part of Baja California, Colima and Morelos…

Puerto Vallarta has remained a tourism hotspot, drawing college students during Spring vacations as well as cruise passengers.

In related news, Homeland Insecurity Secretary Janet Napolitano says Mexican drug war not a failure.

Har!

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Written by Ed Campbell

February 27, 2012 at 6:00 pm

A disciplined dynamic ecological rebirth in the Gulf of California

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For generations we have been taking fish out of the ocean at a rate faster than they can reproduce. The problem is that there are fewer and fewer fish to meet an ever-increasing demand. The solution is simply to take less so that we can continue eating fish for a longer time.

Opponents of conservation, however, argue that regulating fishing will destroy jobs and hurt the economy–but they are wrong, and there are real-world examples that prove this. A scientific study published today by the Public Library of Science shows that protecting an area brings the fish back, and creates jobs and increases economic revenue for the local communities. I have seen it with my own eyes and, believe me, it is like a miracle, only that it is not–it’s just common business sense.

Cabo Pulmo National Park in Baja California, Mexico, was protected in 1995 to safeguard the largest coral community in the Gulf of California. When I dove there for the first time in 1999, I thought the corals were very nice, but there were not so many fishes, and I didn’t think the place was extraordinary. Together with Octavio Aburto and other Mexican colleagues we dove at many sites in the gulf, in a region spanning over 1,000 km. Cabo Pulmo was just like most other places I’d seen in the Gulf of California.

But the Cabo Pulmo villagers wanted more. They decided that the waters in front of their settlement were going to be a no-take marine reserve – fishing was banned with the hopes of bringing the fish back. They had a vision, and they succeeded in a way that exceeded all expectations, including mine.

In 2009 we went back to Cabo Pulmo to monitor the fish populations. We jumped in the water, expecting fishes to be more abundant after 10 years of protection. But we could not believe what we saw–thousands upon thousands of large fishes such as snappers, groupers, trevally, and manta rays. They were so abundant that we could not see each other if we were fifteen meters apart. We saw more sharks in one dive at Cabo Pulmo than in 10 years of diving throughout the Gulf of California!

Our research indicated that the fish biomass increased by 460% at Cabo Pulmo–to a level similar to remote pristine coral reefs that have never been fished. In contrast, all other sites in the Gulf of California that we revisited in 2009 were as degraded as ten years earlier. This shows that it is possible to bring back the former richness of the ocean that man has obliterated, but that without our dedication, the degradation will continue.

It seems like a win-win to me! The question is: how can we have more of these?

The question isn’t new – nor is the solution. Quick and responsible solution? Offer a collaborative between enviros and fishing fleets. A certain percentage of the time – especially if the fishing is based in local communities rather than international brigands – that collaborative solution is possible and succeeds.

No collaboration? That’s what we have governments for.

Written by Ed Campbell

August 15, 2011 at 2:00 pm

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