Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso recently signed an official decree expanding the marine protected area (MPA) around the Galápagos Archipelago by 60,000 square kilometers (23,166 square miles).
Half of that area will be fully protected where no extractive activities are allowed, according to Mission Blue.
The new protected area known as La Hermandad, “the sisterhood,” will extend to Costa Rica’s maritime border and will allow more than one country to manage marine life like sharks, sea turtles and whales.
“Her Deepness” Dr. Sylvia Earle, founder of Mission Blue, lauded the Galapagos Islands’ new status:
“Bravo, President Guillermo Lasso, and all who are supporting enhanced protection for wildlife in the ocean surrounding the Galápagos Islands, where most of the terrain is submerged – and most of the animals are aquatic. Protecting sardines and sharks have benefits that are as significant as safeguarding creatures like songbirds and sea lions. All are integral to the magical nature of the ‘Enchanted Islands’ with profound benefits to the world beyond.”
(Featured Image credit: Kip Evans/Mission Blue)