Monday 21 March 2016, President of the Republic of Ecuador Rafael Correa, announced the creation of a marine sanctuary in the area of the Galápagos Islands.
The Galápagos Islands are a World Heritage site. The area has been protected since 1998 by the Galápagos Marine Reserve. 97% Of the land mass is protected as a national park, however less than 1% of the surrounding water was fully protected. This very important action will provide protection to marine life in an area of approximately 40,000 square kilometres. The sanctuary includes the waters around the Darwin and Wolf islands that are visited by Galápagos scuba diving liveaboards. Under the protection of the sanctuary, several areas, covering about a third of the Galápagos Marine Reserve will be designated as ‘no-take” zones. Fishing will not be permitted at all and mining or oil drilling will not be allowed in the new conservation zones.
The findings by the National Geographic Society’s Pristine Seas project and the University of California, Santa Barbara, have shown the value of the sharks in the Galapagos region. Their presence and survival contributes enormously to the income of the Galapagos residence and the tourism industry. (Up to a third of jobs are provided by marine based tourism and revenue of approximately $178 million per year is generated.)
Correa summed up the importance of creating the sanctuary. “The Galápagos Islands have extraordinary ecological value, and also economic value. The government of Ecuador supports the creation of a marine sanctuary to leave an inheritance to our children and our children’s children; a wonderful world where as many species as possible are preserved for the enjoyment and knowledge of future generations.”
This incredible area is considered by many as the peak of their scuba diving journey. The Galápagos is best experienced as a liveaboard diving holiday, many of the top sites can not be accessed from land.
Book your Galápagos liveaboard scuba diving holiday now! Contact Dive The World right away on +66 (0)94 582 7973 / (0)83 505 7794 or E-mail our sales team to seal the deal!.