Sea of Cortez
Known by many different names, the Sea of Cortez separates the Baja California Peninsula from the mainland of Mexico. The Sea of Cortez is known as the Gulf of California as well as the Mar de Cortes, the Mar Bermejo, or the Gulfo de California. While there are many different names for the Sea of Cortez, they all refer to this same body of water. When you look at just about any modern map the Sea of Cortez is usually listed as the Gulf of California, but the Sea of Cortez is the name that most locals use.
Sea of Cortez 5.3 Million Years Old
The Sea of Cortez has been a body of water for about 5.3 million years ago, and the result was a redirection of the Colorado River. There are many rivers that flow into the Sea of Cortez including the Mayo, Fuerte, Sinaloa, Sonora, and the Yaqui.
Sea of Cortez from Tortuga
The Sea of Cortez was something that started occurring more than 12 million years ago. While the actual Sea of Cortez wasn't in existence 12 million years ago, it was during this time that the North American Plate shifted, laying the foundation for the Sea of Cortez. The Sea of Cortez could have extended as far down as Indio, California, but a huge delta was created by the Colorado River, which effectively blocks the Sea of Cortez from flooding both the Imperial Valley and the Mexicali Valley. Throughout the Sea of Cortez there is volcanism, for instance, with Isla of Tortuga where there is still Sea of Cortez volcanic activity occurring today.
Sea of Cortez Setting World Records
While the Sea of Cortez is actually quite narrow it is home to a very extensive ecosystem. The Sea of Cortez is home to many different creatures, many who migrate to the Sea of Cortez. Some of the sea life that can be found in the Sea of Cortez are the humpback whale, California gray whale, manta ray, and the leatherback sea turtle. The Sea of Cortez is known for its superior fishing and sea life actually caught in the Sea of Cortez has set world records.
Sea of Cortez Industry
The Sea of Cortez is also known for its commercial fishery offerings. In fact, there have been some commercial fisherman who have reported schools of tuna that have spanned more than 100 miles along the Sea of Cortez. Unlike a lot of waters where there are commercial fisheries, the Sea of Cortez appears to be stable, offering the ability for more fisheries to open up in the Sea of Cortez. While the wildlife appears to be stable in the Sea of Cortez, there have been some changes in the Sea of Cortez, such as a reduction in flow from the Colorado River, which will eventually have a negative impact on Sea of Cortez fisheries.
Sea of Cortez Islands
The Sea of Cortez has more than 900 islands, with some of them being a bit bigger. Two of the larger islands in the Sea of Cortez are the Isla Angel de la Guarda and the Tiburon Island. It is around these islands in the Sea of Cortez that many different species of wildlife can be found. The islands in the Sea of Cortez are also the nesting grounds for many different marine mammals and seabirds. The Sea of Cortez waters are where many different species breed, feed, and nurse their young. Two of the leading Sea of Cortez markets are sardines and anchovies. While currently stable, there is some concern that the Sea of Cortez will eventually have problems in addition to some pollution including over fishing of the Sea of Cortez as well as bottom trolling, which damages shellfish and the basin of the Sea of Cortez.