The Galapagos Marine Reserve is one of the largest protected natural areas in the world, ranking second after the Australian Great Barrier Reef
In the Marine Reserve can be seen 16 whale species. Thanks to the presence of the whale, the reserve was declared a whale sanctuary in 1990.
Galapagos Marine Reserve is one of the world's largest marine reserves in terms of biodiversity. Has an area of 138,000 km2, an offshore area from 0 to 590 feet deep with 2587 miles square size and the presence of various ocean currents, which determine habitat conditions for different animal species. Here is a description of each one:
The South Equatorial Current is the main surface current that flows westward, relatively poor in nutrients. It is the result of the confluence of tropical and subtropical seawaters that change in intensity during all year.
The Peru Current is an extension of cold water influenced by coastal currents from Peru or Humboldt and the ocean currents, both carried by the trade winds (also called trades) from the southeast to the north of the archipelago.
The Panama current (tropical waters) is an extension of the equatorial countercurrent, that alters its course to the southwest from Central America.
The Equatorial undercurrent or Cromwell Current is that one that hits the Galapagos platform and deflected toward the surface bringing nutrient-enriched water. This effect causes the upwelling of phytoplankton in the west and at the western shores of a good number of islands.
The Galapagos Marine Reserve, located in the Archipelago, was created by Executive Decree on May 13th, 1986 with the establishment of the Law of Special Regime. It is a policy that integrates the participation of users of marine protected area with the administrative entity, in this case the Galapagos National Park Direction. This is the only coastal and marine area that is protected throughout the Americas.
Marine ecosystems present in Galapagos are characterized by diverse habitats that enrich the biodiversity of the archipelago. The most important ecosystems are:
Intertidal Zone: This is the band of transition between marine and terrestrial environments, extending from the lowest tide line to the line of highest tide. The live organisms in this area have adapted to live in conditions marked by abrupt changes in temperature.
There are five habitats in this area that determine the marine life in the Reserve: Mangroves, coastal lagoons, sandy beaches, rocky beaches and cliffs.
The Galapagos Islands are one of the most popular tourist destinations around the world, because of its incredible biodiversity and exotic beauty.
It is recommendable to contact your travel agency or tour operator for visiting the spectacular Marine Reserve of Galapagos