Gill-nets are destroying one of the world’s Seven Underwater Wonders – By Johnny Friday
Known to divers around the world as El Bajo, this famous seamount located on the fringe of La Paz Bay is where Dr. Peter Klimley first discovered schooling hammerhead sharks in the 1970s. The first amazing underwater images of this phenomenon were filmed here by filmmakers such as Stan Waterman and Howard Hall in the early 1980s. Over the next decade, El Bajo was the premier dive destination in the world for divers to encounter schooling hammerhead sharks. El Bajo was a top five diving destination and truly an underwater wonder of the world. Then, in the mid 1990s the shark schools became smaller and smaller. Now they’re nearly gone. I think I know why.
How you can help
There are several ways that you can help us to secure a healthy future for the Espiritu Santo Archipelago.
Think about what you consume from the ocean
In particular, consider avoiding species of fishes that directly maintain the health of the reefs by grazing on algae while keeping it in natural balance with the ecosystem. These include parrotfish and surgeon fish.
Report any illegal or suspicious activities
Ecotourism captains and guides and general boaters are a great tool in the fight against illegal fishing practices. If you encounter any activities that you believe to be illegal or suspicious, try to obtain photographic and/or video evidence of the acts. Attempt to capture recognizible landmarks in the frame so there is no doubt as to where the activities were observed and also record the GPS coordinates. You can send the information to RED Observatorio Ciudadano or to us here at Sea Watch and we will ensure it goes through the proper channels.
Donate to our cause
By donating to Sea Watch, you can directly contribute to the great awareness work of Espiritu Santo es Parte de Ti or the highly effective vigilance efforts of RED Observatorio Ciudadano. You can donate by credit/debit card, Paypal or by sending a cheque to our registered mailing address. Visit our donate page for more details by clicking the donate button.