Revillagigedo Archipelago, Mexico
Mexico creates the biggest national park and marine reserve in North America
A vast marine reserve has been created in Mexico.
The huge national park in the Revillagigedo Archipelago, a group of volcanic islands on the south-west coast of Mexico, has been created by the Mexican government to preserve wildlife.
Nicknamed the North American Galapagos, the Archipelago is home to an array of marine wildlife, such as humpback whales, sea turtles, and rays.
The zone is also a known breeding ground for commercial fish such as tuna and sierra . Thus, the creation of the park is intended to help fish populations that have suffered from commercial fishing.
Fishing activities will now be prohibited in the reserve, which will be patrolled and surveilled by the Mexican navy as well as the Mexican Environment Ministry.
The protected area itself is 57,000 square miles (150,000km), becoming the most significant ocean reserve in North America.
The maritime park was decreed by Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto who took to Twitter saying « Mexico knows the importance of the oceans and the environmental services they offer. We assume the responsibility of protecting them.»
Admittedly, in the past few years, we have seen an increase in ocean preservation. The 740,000 sq km Rapa Nui marine park, which includes Easter Island, in Chile, became one of the largest marine protected areas in the world (the largest in the Pacific). This was closely followed by the expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument by the American government in 2016 and the first UNESCO marine world heritage site in the Red Sea, off the coast of Sudan, which was supported and advocated for by Cousteau. Finally, the Revillagigedo Archipelago which has become the largest marine protected area in North America is hopefully another good omen for the future of our planet.
« The sea, the great unifier, is man's only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: we are all in the same boat. » Jacques-Yves Cousteau