When Jacques Cousteau visited the Sea of Cortez back in the day, he dubbed it the Aquarium of the World. It’s a body of water teeming with life, from invertebrates, fish, and marine mammals that range from the smallest porpoise in the world (the “vaquita marina,” of which there are only 30 individuals left) to the largest on Earth (the Blue Whale).
There is no doubt that climate change is upon us, and among the most vulnerable environments are our oceans. Plastic pollution, acidification, temperature increases, rising sea levels, icebergs breaking off, radioactive spills and overfishing are all very real and huge threats to the health of the life-giving water masses all over the world.
But not all hope is lost. There are still some sanctuaries that remain isolated, protected, and valued, leading to coordinated efforts to preserve our natural heritage and still manage to make a living out at sea. The watermen who enjoyed this encounter are killers by definition. They’re spearfishers. But spearfishing can be very rewarding because there is no better feeling than putting food on the table you brought home yourself. For many, it fuels an even deeper respect and connection with the same wildlife these people come across every time they dive into the ocean. Somewhat ironically, this crew stumbled on a pod of Killer Whales near Espíritu Santo Island in La Paz, the heart of the Sea of Cortez.
Orca pod sightings are quite rare in the Gulf of California, and even more rare is encountering a Pod with such a small juvenile (he or she is probably out learning how to hunt). They were definitely curious about the boat and managed to get close enough to blow right in their observers’ faces. You can even hear their reaction as they notice the male orca making eye contact.
This video should offer hope and inspiration to all of us; May the oceans go back to thriving with mankind assuming our duty to keep our natural world clean.