Mexico designates the Revillagigedo Archipelago a reserve

The four volcanic islands that make up the Revillagigedo Archipelago and the surrounding waters are home to hundreds of species of animals and plants
The Revillagigedo Archipelago, located some 390 km (242 miles) southeast of the Baja California peninsula - Photo: Taken from Semarnat México Twitter account
24/11/2017
18:55
Reuters
Mexico City
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Mexico’s Government has created a reserve in the Pacific, the largest ocean reserve in North America for the conservation of giant rays, whales, and turtles, including dozens of species endemic to the area.

On Friday, Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto designated the Revillagigedo Archipelago, located some 390 km (242 miles) southeast of the Baja California peninsula, as a national park.

The four volcanic islands that make up the Revillagigedo Archipelago and the surrounding waters are home to hundreds of species of animals and plants, including rays, humpback whales, sea turtles, lizards and migratory birds.

On Twitter, Rafael Pacciano, Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, wrote in Spanish: Revillagigedo National Park is Enrique Peña Nieto's great legacy. 14.8 million hectares, 100 times Mexico City's territory, are now fully protected, free from extractive activities, hotel infrastructure, and human settlements.

The archipelago is sometimes known as the Galapagos of North America, in reference to the volcanic Ecuadorean islands whose abundance of endemic species inspired biologist Charles Darwin.

The 148,000 square kilometers (57,143 square miles) area is a breeding ground for commercially fished species such as tuna and sierra.

Now all fishing activities will be prohibited, as well as the construction of hotel infrastructure on the islands.

The Environment Ministry and Navy “will carry out surveillance, equipment and training activities that will include remote monitoring in real time, environmental education directed at fishermen and sanctions against offenders,” said Peña Nieto.

The creation of the marine park is expected to help recover fish populations hit hard by commercial fishing.

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