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Relaciones. Estudios de historia y sociedad

versión On-line ISSN 2448-7554versión impresa ISSN 0185-3929


CARINO, Micheline  y  MONTEFORTE, Mario. Marine Mines of the Gulf of California: from Extraction to Sustainability. Relac. Estud. hist. soc. [online]. 2018, vol.39, n.153, pp.11-39. ISSN 2448-7554.

Pearl oysters are marine bivalve mollusks that produce nacre and pearls. They long formed part of the diet of native peoples around the Gulf of California, but from 1533 to 1939 shells and natural pearls were the most important commercial marine products. Indeed, their production can be compared to that of metal mining, because of the asymmetric nature of the means of appropriating space and the exploitation of labor. In regional ports, the constant traffic of pearl fleets propelled navigation and international trade. In 1940, however, this natural resource was exhausted by the introduction of mechanized diving (since 1874), the collapse of the Compañía Criadora de Concha y Perla (1903-1914), and environmental change. Today, the extensive farming of pearl oysters, combined with edible mollusks, may signal a path towards regional sustainability. We adopt a long-term approach to analyze the environmental history of one of the most important fishery resources in the Gulf of California.

Palabras llave : environmental history; pearls and nacre; Gulf of California; sustainability.

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