Culture of the Kino Bay Region

The bio-cultural landscape of the Eastern Midriff Island Region of the Gulf of California is unique in the world. Its cultures and economies are inextricably linked to its extraordinarily rich and productive marine and desert ecosystems. Indigenous communities, fishers, students, faculty, researchers and resource managers coexisting in the region have different and overlapping relationships with these environments.   Kino Bay and its immediate surroundings currently support Mexican communities of resident small-scale fishers and their families, transient industrial fishers, two Comcaac (Seri) settlements, retired Americans, and tourists from larger cities in the U.S. and Mexico. Isla Tiburon, the largest island in Mexico, and the adjacent mainland coast are the homeland of the Comcáac people, the indigenous people who have inhabited this area for thousands of years. Historically they were hunters and gatherers and are famed for their baskets, ironwood carvings, and deep traditional ecological knowledge of the region. Today, Comcaac leaders apply the teachings of their elders, combined with western perspectives to defend the ecological and cultural riches of their territory. The Mexican fishing community of Bahía de Kino began in the 1920’s as a shark and totoaba fishing camp and has grown steadily ever since. Overfishing, aquaculture development, and climate change are among the most pressing threats to the region’s ecosystems and the wildlife, cultures and economies that depend upon them.  Solutions must be international, local, national, multi-cultural and based in the community. The Center is one of many organizations in the Gulf working on these issues.