Diving Into Biosphere Reserves | What They Are and Why They Are Important to Sanctuary Oysters


Located in Baja California, the El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve includes the tranquil San Ignacio Lagoon, home of the Pacific Sanctuary Oysters. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993, El Vizcaino has a unique ecosystem and the lagoon is full of nutrient-rich phytoplankton for pacific oysters to feed on. In turn, these protected waters serve as a retreat for nursery pods of Grey whales and are home to the cleanest environment for our mouthwatering oysters to grow. The lagoon is a crucial part in giving our oysters their fresh, decadent taste.

Similar to national parks, Biosphere Reserves are created to protect natural sites and promote conservation. Biosphere Reserves are essential for preserving natural ecosystems and some of nature's finest creations. Located between the Gulf of California and the Pacific Ocean, El Vizcaino has a great abundance and variety of species, which are in danger of extinction elsewhere.

In 1968, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) organized the Biosphere Conference from which the concept of "Biosphere Reserves" was born. Recognized by national governments, Biosphere Reserves serve as innovative approaches to living and working in harmony with nature as they allow civilizations to achieve economic development while also conserving natural ecosystems.  

The "living laboratories" form a World Network where personnel can exchange information, research and experiences. There are more than 600 Biosphere Reserves in more than 100 countries. The World Network of Biosphere Reserves work together to foster the integration of people and nature. Sol Azul strives to produce delicious Sanctuary Oysters while conserving our unique biosphere reserve and boosting local development. 

The whale sanctuary of the El Vizcaino is a protected landmark on the Pacific Coast of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula. It’s comprised of two coastal lagoons and both are embedded in the much larger El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve, Mexico's largest protected area, which in turn is contiguous with another large conservation area to the North. The lagoons are recognized as the world's most important place for the reproduction of the once endangered Eastern subpopulation of the North Pacific Grey Whale, which migrate over 5,000 miles from Alaska, to these pristine Baja waters, to have their calves. The protection of these winter breeding grounds has been paramount in the remarkable recovery of this species after near-extinction as a result of commercial whaling.


Each Biosphere Reserve has three interrelated zones: the core area, the buffer zone, and the transition area. The core area consists of the strictly protected ecosystem. It contributes to the conservation of species, landscapes, and genetic variation. The buffer zone connects to the core area and is primarily used for activities with sound ecological practices which reinforce scientific research, training, education, and more. Lastly, the transition area is where the greatest amount of activity is allowed such as economic and human development.

We pride ourselves in growing our oysters in the El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve lagoon that we call “the ends of the earth.” Our lagoon ensures that Sanctuary Oysters are nourished in an idyllic Biosphere Reserve, which gives them the impeccable clean taste. The oysters are grown by filter feeding on natural, cold and nutrient-rich phytoplankton, our French above-seabed growing techniques optimize the tidal current’s ability to feed and cleanse our oysters. As a result, Sanctuary Oysters get their remarkable texture, taste and appearance.

At Sol Azul, we’re committed to sustaining our coastal ecosystem and promoting conservation of the internally recognized landmark. To learn more about Sanctuary Oysters rich Biosphere Reserve, reach out to us at info@solazul.com.mx.