Tropical fish boom

Marine preserve off Baja Peninsula thrives under protection

The flourishing of fish populations in a marine preserve near the southernmost point of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula spells promising news for similar preserves off the California coast.

Between 1999 and 2009, researchers documented a marine-life increase of 463 percent in Cabo Pulmo’s marine preserve, according to media sources and a report published last month in the journal PLoS ONE.

Scientists believe the population explosion is due to the size of the “no-take” zone—the area protected from recreational and commercial fishing.

Cabo Pulmo’s success has positive implications for current and future marine preserves along the California coast. The California Fish and Game Commission recently voted Jan. 1, 2012, as the effective date for a new 354-square-mile network of marine-protected areas off California’s southern coast.