a UNESCO Marine World Heritage Site.
The World Heritage register currently includes 46 sites recognized for their exceptional marine value. These sites are renowned for their exceptional natural phenomena, geological processes, functioning ecology and their exceptional biodiversity not found in any other part of the planet.
The islands and protected area of the Sea of Cortez were included on the World Heritage list in 2005. The site is composed of nine protected areas, 244 islands, islets and coastal areas. This corner of the world is very important and has been recognized as a natural laboratory for the examination of different species. Most oceanographic processes occurring in the world are present here. The site is a unique place of striking natural beauty in a dramatic setting formed by rugged islands with high cliffs and sandy beaches which contrast with the brilliant reflection from the desert on the surroundings turquoise waters.
Jacques Cousteau called this wonderful place “The Aquarium of the World” as it is home to 695 species of aquatic plants, more than any property on the list of Marine World Heritage sites.
The site also contains 891 species of fish, 90 of which are endemic. In addition, 39 percent the world’s marine mammals and a third of the world’s marine cetacean species are found in this area.
To preserve the richness of the Sea of Cortez, it is necessary to make visitors and service providers aware that they are visiting or working in one of the most spectacular marine areas in the world. They should appreciate the significance of the universal value of this World Heritage site and adopt a responsible behavior.