For PADI AmbassaDiver Edgardo Ochoa, the Gulf of California has had a special place in his heart since he saw it for the very first time as a little boy, from 30,000 feet in the air.
Ochoa, who also works as a Marine and Diving Safety Officer (DSO) for Conservation International, a non-government organization (NGO) that promotes sustainability in communities and villages across the planet, isn’t alone when it comes to valuing these ecosystems. Labeled by Jacques Yves Cousteau as “the aquarium of the world,” the Gulf of California is home to a bounty of marine life that includes sharks, mantas, whales, dolphins, and thousands of fish, making it one of the most sought after bodies of water in the world by both the science and dive communities.
Unfortunately, that abundance of marine life hasn’t made the area immune to the effects of overfishing, pollution and the negative impacts of construction. And while the government is addressing regulations and creating marine protected areas to help curtail the damage done to the area, illegal fishing is still common.
Ochoa emphasizes the message that any small, repetitive action can make a huge difference over time. And no effort is too small.
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