Ecuador creates sanctuary for hammerhead sharks

March 21, 2016
Galapagos National Park Marine Investigations team monitor shark activity in the area on June 5, 2013
Galapagos National Park Marine Investigations team monitor shark activity in the area on June 5, 2013

Ecuador created Monday a sanctuary for endangered hammerhead sharks in a marine reserve in the Galapagos Islands.

The measure prohibits fishing over an area of 38,000 square kilometers (15,000 square miles) to protect the sharks, one of numerous rare species in the archipelago.

The new protected area is between Darwin and Wolf islands in the north of the Galapagos, which are classified by UNESCO as a .

"Darwin and Wolf islands contain the Galapagos 's last coral reef and the greatest abundance of sharks in the world," said Ecuador's President Rafael Correa at a ceremony launching the sanctuary.

He said a third of the archipelago's waters and just under 60 percent of its land are now protected from having their resources exploited.

Marine biologist Enric Sala of National Geographic said that "despite the richness (of species) that the Galapagos still houses there are risks, including excessive and unregulated fishing, illegal fishing and climate change."

British naturalist Charles Darwin's study of species on the Galapagos Islands helped him develop his theory of evolution in the 19th century.

Lying in the Pacific some 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) off the coast of Ecuador, the ' marine reserve has been set aside as a whale sanctuary since 1990.

Explore further: Breeding season under way for Galapagos tortoises

Related Stories

Breeding season under way for Galapagos tortoises

January 10, 2013

Breeding season is under way for the endangered tortoises of Ecuador's Galapagos Islands, whose mating and nesting habits are carefully watched by wildlife specialists hoping to save them from extinction.

Galapagos volcano calms, pink iguanas out of danger

May 26, 2015

A volcano in the Galapagos Islands whose fiery eruption raised fears for the world's only population of pink iguanas has calmed, sparing the unique critters from danger, officials said Tuesday.

Emergency declared after Galapagos ship grounding

February 5, 2015

Ecuador activated a state of emergency Wednesday at the famous Galapagos Islands, authorities said, a week after the stranding of a cargo ship loaded with supplies that included hazardous materials.

Recommended for you

Promiscuity may have accelerated animal domestication

March 21, 2018

Domestication of wild animals may have accelerated as promiscuity increased among the high density populations drawn to life near humans, according to a new paper by University of Liverpool researchers.

Predators learn to identify prey from other species

March 21, 2018

Wolves purportedly raised Romulus and Remus, who went on to rule Rome. Is there good scientific evidence for learning across species? Researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama wanted to know ...

City-dwelling blackbirds have poorer measures of health

March 21, 2018

Blackbirds live longer in cities than in forests. But their telomeres, repetitive stretches of DNA at the ends of the chromosomes, show that these city birds have a much poorer health status than their rural cousins. These ...

Monkeys use tools to crack nuts, shuck oysters

March 21, 2018

Wild macaque monkeys have learned to use tools to crack open nuts and even shuck oysters, researchers said Wednesday, identifying a rare skill-set long thought to be the exclusive party trick of humans and chimps.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.