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Sustainable ocean forest productivity demonstrated

Updated: Jul 6, 2019

As fish populations crash elsewhere, Baja California towns limit catches to stabilize harvests, boost tourism, improve income, and preserve a way of life.


Read the full story in the September 2017 issue of National Geographic magazine. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/09/baja-mexico-marine-conservation-tourism-fish-sharks-whales/

CREDIT: Article by Erik Vance, Photos By Thomas P. Peschak

Octavio Aburto dives near Isla Espíritu Santo, in the Gulf of California. The marine biologist studies why some reserves succeed and others fail. He’s found the secret is in the community that lives there. “You start creating pride,” he says, “a commitment to recovery.”

"Five rules emerge as the key to sustainable, community-supported ocean management: First, it helps if the site is fairly isolated, with just a community or two using it. Second, the community needs a resource of high value, such as lobster or abalone. Strong, visionary community leaders are the third necessity. Fourth, fishermen need a way to support themselves while the resources recover. And, lastly, the community must be bound together by trust."

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