Salt mine in whale breeding area raises concern
February 7, 1998
Web posted at: 11:57 p.m. EST (0457 GMT)
LAGUNA SAN IGNACIO, Mexico (CNN) -- Plans to build a salt mine in a lagoon on Mexico's Baja peninsula are being greeted with concern by environmentalists who fear that the project could disrupt a breeding area for endangered gray whales.
Laguna San Ignacio is one of the last calving grounds for the whales, who migrate from the rich feeding grounds of the Arctic to the waters off Mexico, where they mate and give birth to their young.
The Mexican government, in partnership with Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan, is proposing to build the largest salt mining facility in the world at Laguna San Ignacio. Environmentalists fear the noise and disruption will ruin the lagoon as a breeding ground.
Area to become a salt mine on Mexico's Baja peninsula
However, 50 miles up the coast the whales have been sharing waters with a salt mining operation at Guerrero Negro for 40 years. Though the whales abandoned one lagoon there, they continue to thrive in another.
Mitsubishi has pledged that it will not proceed with the project if it causes significant environmental damage.
Reuters contributed to this report.