There are exciting breakthroughs being made in shark conservation in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Building upon successful activities in protecting sharks in the Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR), we are raising funds to support our partners to take the next step. They will gather scientific evidence for the creation of a protected 'swimway' between the GMR and the Cocos Island National Park in Costa Rica. This area is incredibly important for whale sharks and other migratory species, but industrial fishing is still allowed. So as soon as they swim out of the protected waters of the GMR, they are extremely vulnerable to being caught.
In addition to helping migrating individuals, we are supporting work that will improve the understanding and protection of shark nurseries in the GMR, particularly for hammerhead and blacktip sharks. Most female whale sharks found in Galapagos are pregnant, but we still do not know where they give birth. By tagging individuals, we hope to finally discover where the young are born and where the pups live during the first few years of their lives.
Galapagos has one of the highest concentrations of endangered sharks in the world. With more knowledge about their lives, we can increase local support for shark conservation and ensure that these charismatic species are protected for generations to come.