Endangered turtles, sharks, and manta rays now have more room to roam in the pristine waters of the Galápagos Islands. In January 2022, Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso decreed a new marine reserve called Hermandad—“Brotherhood”—in the volcanic island chain famous for its impressive, unusual biodiversity.
The newly declared reserve will be free of fishing, and adds more than 23,000 square miles to the existing 53,000 of the Galápagos Marine Reserve. The expansion will help protect a vital underwater corridor or “ocean highway” used by millions of sea creatures (some of which are threatened or endangered) to migrate between the Galápagos, Costa Rica’s Cocos Island, and other oceanic enclaves around Panama and Colombia. Silky sharks and scalloped hammerheads are some of the species that really stand to benefit—at risk of industrial and illegal fishing during their lengthy migrations.
Atlas Obscura invites you to check out some of the fascinating inhabitants of the marine world of the Galápagos.
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