After almost 20 years since the giant Manta Rays of the Pacific left the Cerralvo Island area in the Sea of Cortez, about 60 miles east of the city of La Paz. Baja California Sur, these impressive creatures have returned to these very same waters.
Erick Higuera, marine biologist and professional diver: "... we’ve been able to identify fifty-two different individuals in 2001 and 2002 but afterwards we did not see each other again, it was a collapse, we all thought it was due to overfishing”
Robert Rubin: Marine biologist Blanket specialist: “They are not considered endangered in many pastures of the world, they are nevertheless, if they are considered threatened and in certain parts of the world have been harshly fished by the filtration systems of their gills”
Erick Higuera, marine biologist and professional diver: "... so then we went to talk to the fishing communities to encourage them to take another turn, right? To ecotourism, and that together we can achieve the protection of this species, it is a protected species. I believe that joining forces makes everything possible ...”
Jesús Castillo, professional diver: "... personally I’m very pleased to have seen from those same fishing villages several boats taking tourism snorkeling, and to dive, then I say; now they’re leaving the hooks for the snorkel and the diving equipment. I think we're on the right track”
For divers in the area it’s very good news.
Jesús Castillo, professional diver: "... here in this community of divers it’s seen with great joy .... There are currents here with a lot of plankton, many nutrients ... "
Estrella Navarro, free diving athlete: "... they swim but they seem to fly, they are huge, they are beautiful, it's really like being in a fantasy world and interacting with these animals that look like angels below the water ..."
Robert Rubin: Marine biologist Blanket specialist: “It is very good news because they are being protected, and if we leave them alone, they will prevail, but now we need regulations because many people will want to go there”
For divers and scientists it’s necessary to raise awareness amongst fishermen, to protect them.
Estrella Navarro, free diving athlete: "... if the fishermen themselves understood the economic benefit left them when tourists come to see these species, they really want to go and take people on their boats to appreciate the animals ... "
The giant Manta Rays of the Pacific can measure up to 5 meters wide and weigh up to two tons, they feed on plankton and can live more than 26 years and around the Revillagigedo Islands is one of the main colonies of these specimens worldwide.
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