Friday, January 24, 2020

Laguna San Ignacio :: Trade Trading Japan Whaling Essays

Laguna San Ignacio Japan’s leading trading company, the Mitsubishi Corporation, has proposed an expansion to its large salt-mining company that is located at Laguna Guerrero Negro. Mitsubishi wishes to expand south to an area surrounding Laguna San Ignacio, occupying 21,000 acres of protected land surrounding the lagoon. Laguna San Ignacio is the second largest breeding and calving area off the western coast of Baja California where Gray Whales visit during the winter months. Mitsubishi’s 7 million ton per year facility at Laguna Guerrero Negro has grown to capacity and the cost of loading and shipping salt has become too expensive because the salt at the facility has to be shipped to Cedros Island. Then the salt has to be transferred onto cargo ships for international export, leading to the "double-handling" of salt. In moving south to Laguna San Ignacio the corporation will lower cost by increasing the amount of salt exported and eliminate the "double-handling" of salt, by creating a mi le long pier that can carry the salt out to cargo ships. The irony is that this project would never of been considered if the Gray Whales were not removed from the Endangered Species list, yet, only a month after the Gray Whale was removed from the Endangered Species list the salt project proposal was submitted, possibly endangering this species once again. THE GRAY WHALE The Gray whale (Eschrichtius Robustus) is believed by scientists to play an intricate part in the web of life that is not fully understood. Yet, people chose to exploit whales for their resources, not taking into consideration the long-term effects it may have. Humans have twice driven the Gray Whales to near extinction for the convenience of oil or other superficial needs. Fortunately, with the help of the moratorium on commercial whaling and groups such as Grupo de los Cien, Natural Resources Defense Council, World Wildlife Fund, Pro Esteros and others, the Gray Whale numbers are at pre-exploitation, somewhere around 21,000. This salt expansion project could once again cause damage to the Gray Whale population along with the rich biodiversity that inhabits Laguna San Ignacio. The Laguna San Ignacio is the last undeveloped lagoon that Gray Whales can still visit without the interference of man’s progress. THE POLITICS Mitsubishi and the Mexican governments’ industrial salt company, Exportadora de Sal (ESSA-which Mitsubishi owns 49%), have set up a web site that describes the impact that they have had on the Laguna Guerrero Negro, the coastal environment and the biodiversity.

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