GALAPAGOS MARINE RESERVE

Galapagos Islands are considered a “natural paradise” for almost all the people who have visited them.

The Galapagos Marine Reserve covers around 133,000 km2, For this reason it is considered as one of the 10 largest in the world and an important marine life sanctuary. The Reserve is considered a unique ecosystem due to its location on the confluence of different marine currents (a cold-water current with a warm water current). This confluence generates an abundance of plankton that sustains many species of animals which come from different areas of the Pacific Ocean and gives us the opportunity to observe unique species of animals. In this place you can find more than 2.900 species, of which 25% are endemic marine organisms (MAE Ecuador, 2018).

The diving and snorkeling practices are allowed in specific areas of the Galapagos Marine Reserve. You can have the unique opportunity to come in contact with different species such as: turtles, whales, schools of fish, sea lions, sharks (Galapagos sharks, Hammerheads, Whale sharks, Silky sharks, among others), rays, sea turtles, penguins, mola-mola, marine iguanas, sea horses, eels, etc. Galapagos is considered one of the best underwater diving destinations in the world.

The need to protect this area appeared in 1990s, when some studies showed the terrible consequences of some fishing methods like the alarming decrease in the population of some species.

In 1998 some laws were changed, and other ones were added to control some local practices with the purpose of preserving the environment. The Galapagos Marine Reserve was officially named a protected area.

In 2001, UNESCO recognized the enormous ecological, cultural and economic value of the Galapagos Marine Reserve and included it as a World Natural Heritage Site, promoting the conservation and maintenance of the unique species that inhabit it (Galapagos National Park, 2018).

The Galapagos National Park works together with different organizations such as Darwin Research Station to reach common goals to conserve and preserve the natural resources.

On the other hand, as a strategy to control the visitors’ activities on the island, the Galapagos National Park has created some specific rules.