“Cordon sanitaire” is a French term referring to “a barrier implemented to stop the spread of disease”. In English it has been used in a metaphorical sense referring to attempts at preventing the spread of an unwanted ideology. Both definitions apply, but I chose the Spanish translation since this fallen sign stood sentinel at the edge of a protected area in Mexico. In stark contrast to the safety found inside this sanctuary, was the “ring of filth” that appeared as I neared its extremities, culminating mere meters away from this boundary marker with one of the most flagrant examples of waste and destructiveness I have witnessed - shark finning. In the makeshift fish camp straddling the border of the refuge I found this still writhing shark (and its dead siblings) set aside to be used as bait to attract the next of their kin. I surreptitiously transferred this pup into the blood-tinged waters of the Sea of Cortez for a first swim – the still visible umbilical cord indicating its premature removal from its mother’s womb.