23. Sea of Cortez.jpg



The Sea of Cortez is a 700-mile long narrow sea nestled between Baja and mainland Mexico, and is one of the world's richest and youngest seas. It is home to more than 800 species of fish, 2,000 invertebrates, as well as whales, dolphins, sea turtles, sea lions and the critically endangered vaquita porpoise. The vaquitas and other marine life are under threat from overfishing and net entanglements, but progress is in the works. Several nonprofits have been educating local fisheries on safely removing animals that become caught in fishing nets, and have been adopting new gear that prevents bycatching all together.