Over 500 kilometers off the coast of Colombia lies Malpelo Island, the summit of an underwater ridge and the centerpiece of Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary. The sanctuary is a spectacular dive spot, but its remote location and strong currents mean that few divers can explore its rich beauty.
A big draw for these divers is the massive shark aggregations that gather in Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary. This strong marine protected area hosts schools of hammerhead, silky, and Galapagos sharks. Malpelo also teems with other wildlife, including many marine mammals and hundreds of species of fish.
Malpelo is the largest no-fishing zone in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, and has been expanded twice since its designation. Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos has recently pledged to double the sanctuary’s size. Malpelo’s management success is well-recognized worldwide, and it joined the network of Blue Parks as a Platinum level Blue Park in further recognition of its strong protection for marine wildlife.
- Award Year
- Unidad Administrativa Especial del Sistema de Parques Nacionales Naturales of Colombia
- 9741 km²
- Other Awards and Designations
- UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mission Blue Hope Spot, IMO Particularly Sensitive Sea Area, Important Bird Area