The marine environment of the Galapagos Marine Reserve is made up of coral reefs, underwater cliffs, lagoons and wetlands. These ecosystems provide habitats to over 2,900 marine species that have been identified in the Galapagos Marine Reserve, including whales, dolphins, cormorants, sea lions, fur seals, penguins, marine iguanas, sea turtles, tropical fish, sharks and rays. The Galapagos Marine Reserve accounts for the world's largest biomass of reef fish, the majority of which is made up of sharks including scalloped hammerhead, blacktip and mako sharks.The Galapagos Marine Reserve is situated at the intersection of three major currents: the Panama current, the Humboldt current, and upwelling equatorial current, all of which contribute to the massive amount of biodiversity of the region.
The Galapagos Marine Reserve was officially established in 1998, by the Organic Law of the Special Regime for the Conservation and Sustainable Development of Galápagos. In 2001, it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Award Year
- Galapagos National Park Service
- 138,000 km²
- Other Awards and Designations
- UNESCO World Heritage Site, Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar), Important Bird Area