Galapagos Marine Reserve Expansion

Author: Migramar
Date: 2021-10-31

For the past two years, our team of scientists from across the country and the planet, have been working on a series of scenarios to provide meaningful protection to endangered migratory marine species around the Galápagos Islands. During this time, we have developed a range of scenarios that correspond to different conservation objectives, which include building resilience in the face of climate change, dissuading illegal longline vessels from entering artisanal fishing grounds within the existing reserve, mitigating the impact of excessive use of Fish Aggregation Devices, safeguarding fishery resources for artisanal and industrial fleets, and reversing declining population trends for endangered marine species. 

Ecuador’s announcement is a first step in addressing some of these conservation objectives. If placed correctly, the 30,000 km2 no-take zone, and adjacent longline exclusion areas, will provide critically endangered hammerhead sharks and other threatened marine species, with a migratory “Swimway”, allowing them to move from Darwin Island to the borders of Ecuador’s territory, without encountering fishing gear. It now falls to Costa Rica to provide the same level of protection for the rest of their journey to Cocos Island and beyond. Moving towards a sustainable society in the Eastern Tropical Pacific will require strong commitments from Ecuador, Costa Rica , Colombia and our neighboring countries. This is just the beginning.



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