California Bay

The Gulf of California, also known as the Sea of ​​Cortez, was named after the Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés who came to the area in 1539. It was Franscisco de Ulloa who gave the bay its name and he believed that through this bay you could get to the mythical Anian Strait which was assumed to connect the Pacific Ocean with the Atlantic. This is a very narrow sea arm that offers a rich ecosystem with many animal species and plenty of fish. The Gulf of California is surrounded by the Baja California Peninsula and the Mexican mainland with the states of Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sinaloa and Sonora, in addition, there are plenty of islands and rock formations in the bay.

Where the bay joins the Pacific Ocean, it is deep, about 3,000 meters, and then it gets shallower the further into the bay you get. The Colorado River empties into this bay and supplies it with fresh water. For the communities located by the bay, fishing is of very high importance. Partly you fish commercially and partly sport fishing is very popular in the area. However, fishing has deteriorated due to changes in the ecology of nearby areas.

The islands in the Gulf of California

In 1978, the islands of the Gulf of California were designated as nature reserves with the aim of protecting the unique flora and fauna that exists on site. The largest islands in the bay are Angel de la Guarda and Tiburón but there are many more. Because these islands are surrounded by such beautiful nature full of unique animal species, they have become popular tourist destinations. Here you can get out by boat to get closer to islands and rock formations and continue by kayak to see seals and other animals up close. It is also popular to climb the islands and to enjoy lunch fished up from the water such as tuna and seafood. A lot has been invested in ecological tourism in the area, where they ensure that tourists behave in a way that does not harm the sensitive ecosystems that are in place.

Water temperatures

The water temperature in the Gulf of California is almost always comfortable as it is between 16 ° C in winter and 24 ° C in summer. The warmest is near the coasts, and in areas like La Paz you can reach really high temperatures of around 30 ° C at the end of the summer. It happens that in the northern part of the bay you get really cold winters and then the temperature in the water can drop to below 10 ° C

Nature and wildlife

What makes so many tourists come to the islands in the Gulf of California is because the area offers absolutely fantastic nature and unique wildlife. Here there are whales such as humpback whales and gray whales, devil coats, turtles, dolphins, seals, sharks and more. The bay is Mexico’s most important source of fish and is fished for species such as sardines, squid and shrimp. Sport fishing is more focused on large tuna. The bay also has reefs and beautiful beaches. To preserve wildlife, care has been taken to protect selected areas and create marine parks where it is not possible to build. The work is progressing but is not always completely successful as Mexico does not fully succeed in monitoring and as it is quite slow politically to introduce new rules and restrictions for fishing in the bay.

California Bay

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