Thursday, August 08, 2013

Pelagic Life - brilliant Article!

Great stuff!

Read this article in the Huff Post.
Jero and his gang, and incidentally Eli amply deserve the kudos. Bravo!
Right now, it's not yet much in terms of conservation - but it sure counts for the individual Sharks that are being freed, and having had many conversations, there's a certainly fair chance that the ultimate vision of turning the region around Bahia Magdalena into a year-round ecotourism hub that would provide for alternative livelihoods for those Shark fishermen could ultimately become a reality.

And here you can watch them in action.
They were able to buy and free 8 Sharks, mainly Blues and Makos - nothing romantic, sometimes dangerous, but certainly worth doing.
But what a great encounter at the end as a reward!

Sure, it won't be easy.
Trying to set up such a venture in Mexico in general, and in a remote corner of Baja in particular is certainly fraught with multiple challenges, and establishing a successful and above all, long-term sustainable and equally economically viable ecoutourism venture is incredibly difficult and will demand a great deal of uncompromising dedication and perseverance. We here started out under much more propitious circumstances, foremost of which greatly supportive authorities and local stakeholders, and a  thriving tourism industry inclusive of transportation, accommodation and food - and lemme tell ya, it has been anything but a walk in the park! 
There, they will have to develop basically everything from scratch, and contend with well established and powerful Shark fishing interests that will only extend their crucial support if in the end, they perceive it to be in their interest - and that, I fear, means hard numbers and not some diffuse ethical conservation mumbo-jumbo!

But if anybody can pull this off, it's Jero & Co.
These are not some naive tree hugging idealists, these are smart and extremely well connected young professionals who understand the rules and are making realistic, modest plans and  growth projections. And who instead of trying to re-invent the wheel and learn the lessons the hard way, are eager to communicate and learn from other already established ecotourism operators, to then adapt any insights to those local circumstances - so should they contact you asking for advice, please lend them a helping hand!

We're all in this together.
And if they succeed, and I honestly believe they can, everybody wins.
Especially those Sharks!

1 comment:

OfficetoOcean said...

I'm a big fan of there's, I think what they do is great, would love to get them on film one day