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Monday, February 02, 2004

A Permanent Victory in Baja for the Whales and the Wetlands

Back in March 2000, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship Ocean Warrior lay off the mouth of Bahia Magdalena on the west coast of the Baja Peninsula.

We were there that day to witness the announcement by the government of Mexico that the Mitsubishi Salt Works Project would not go ahead in this fragile nursery of the California Gray whale.

It was a great day. Our crew filmed and watched the whales with their calves.

Usually conservation victories are temporary and we felt it would just be a matter of time before we would once again be doing battle with Mitsubishi or some other company ready to profit at the expense of nature and the whales.

On February 2, the Mexican government designated the coastal lagoon where the Gray whales give birth to their young as a wetland of international importance, guaranteeing the protection of this beautiful natural habitat.

The designation marks the anniversary of the February 1971 signing of the Convention on Wetlands. The treaty signed in the Iranian city of Ramsar now has 138 participating governments and between them they have designated 1,366 wetlands covering a surface area of 119,588,432 hectares (461733 square miles.)

February 2 is World Wetlands Day

Viva Mexico! Viva Bahia Magdalena! Viva las ballenas!