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Ecuador Expands Marine Park Around the Galapagos Islands
by Vanessa Buschschluter - BBC News
Link to Full Article --> BBC News Article
Conservationists have welcomed the announcement by Ecuador that it will expand the marine reserve around the Galapagos islands by 60,000 sq km.
President Guillermo Lasso announced the move at the COP 26 climate summit in Glasgow. Mr. Lasso told the BBC that his government wanted to show that action rather than words was the most effective way to fight climate change. Conservationists called it "a brilliant first step". The existing marine protected area around the Galapagos measures 133,000 sq km and was one of the first large-scale marine conservation areas to be created. It is one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world. Conservationists hope that its expansion will protect the migration routes of endangered species such as the whale shark and make the reserve more resilient to climate change.
Among those praising the move is Sarah Darwin, the great-great-granddaughter of biologist Charles Darwin, whose theory of evolution was inspired by the biodiversity he found on the Galapagos. Sarah, a botanist and an ambassador for the Galapagos Conservation Trust, told the BBC that she was "very, very excited that President Lasso is taking the Galapagos so seriously".
"We're really looking forward to taking further conservation measures forward with him both in the marine reserve and the islands themselves," she said. "This is a real commitment, I think." But the CEO of the Galapagos Conservation Trust, Sharon Johnson, said it was important that the resources be put in place to adequately protect the newly enlarged reserve. In 2020, a huge number of Chinese fishing boats were spotted in waters off the Galapagos with conservationists accusing the fleet of "pillaging" the area for squid.
President Lasso denied that the expansion of the marine reserve was a response to the Chinese fleet's movements, insisting it was "an autonomous decision of the Ecuadorean government". Mr. Lasso said that in his most recent conversation with the Chinese president he sensed "a clear commitment to respect Ecuador's maritime" and that he, therefore, hoped there would be no repeat of the scenes which had played out in 2020. He added that his government would swap debt for conservation to create a fund that would allow Ecuador to beef up navy patrols to protect the area and to provide artisanal fishermen working outside the marine reserve with support.
The Galapagos and the seas surrounding them are a unique ecosystem home to whales, turtles, and tuna, explain Prof Sandy Tudhope and Dr. Meriwether Wilson from the University of Edinburgh. The fact that they are so rich in commercially important species is also what makes them so attractive to fishermen, say the two scientists, who were part of the team whose research underpinned the decision to expand the reserve.
Check out our Galapagos Liveaboards --> Ecuador Liveaboards
Our thanks to Vanessa Buschschluter - BBC News for this article. Full article HERE.
Calipso Galapagos Liveaboard
Last Minute - Save $1400
November 18-25, 2021
Take advantage of our super deal now and save $1400 and FREE nitrox.
All ensuite double cabins can be converted to 1 bed. Cabins have individual climate control, TV, safety deposit box, storage, hairdryer, and windows. The dive deck has a rinse tank, a large camera table, a dry charging area, hot showers, individual dive stations with storage, wetsuit racks, and a bathroom.
Six Awesome Liveaboard Destinations
Liveaboards provide a one-of-a-kind experience for travelers looking to fully submerge themselves into a diving adventure. Guests are able to spend a week (or more!) filling their days with diving and their nights watching the sunset across the open water. Liveaboards can provide all of the same luxuries as a typical on land resort such as spa treatments, snorkeling, gourmet meals, and excursions. Here are our picks of some of the six best destinations for a liveaboard vacation.
1) Galápagos Islands - Ecuador
The Galapagos Islands are scattered across the equator and have warm weather year-round. While diving in the Pacific waters surrounding the islands is great all year, December to May is the warmest season with the calmest waters and highest visibility. Divers during this season most often see hammerhead sharks and manta rays. July to November is ideal for more advanced divers hoping for more intense, choppier waters. Although the ocean is generally a bit colder during this season, it is known for nutrient-rich water that attracts all kinds of sea life, specifically whale sharks. Diving in the Galapagos is done on liveaboards from tenders or Zodiacs, and guests are able to have a unique experience living out on the open waters.
2) Socorro Island - Mexico
Socorro Island is the largest island in the Revillagigedo Archipelago and is famous for its vibrant wildlife, both on and off the shore. The volcanic island does not have an airport, making it a popular spot for liveaboards. The diving season lasts from November to May as that is when the water is at its calmest. Throughout this season, divers often get to see hammerhead sharks, manta rays, whale sharks, and humpback whales. From January to March, there are even frequent sightings of bottlenose dolphins. In addition to these, sightings of silky sharks, Galapagos sharks, whitetip reef sharks, and silvertip sharks are possible as well. Getting to the Socorros requires an open ocean crossing about 22 hours from Cabo San Lucas, Baja California.
3) Raja Ampat - Indonesia
Located off the coast of Bird’s Head Peninsula in West Papua, Raja Ampat is an Indonesian archipelago that is known for its extensive biodiversity. The islands form part of the Coral Triangle — an area known as a home to 76% of known coral species. In Raja Ampat’s waters, there is countless marine life and stunning coral reefs to see. The most popular sights include manta rays, reef sharks, walking sharks, turtles, nudibranchs, and so much more. Diving in Raja Ampat is ideal from October to April as it has the driest weather with calm seas that make for smooth liveaboard sailing. The clear waters consistently have a visibility of 80-100 ft all year long, which is perfect for spotting even the smallest of critters.
4) Tubbataha Reef - Philippines
Tubbataha Reef is a protected marine park in the Philippines’ Sula Sea. It is known for being a nesting ground for green sea turtles and is made up of a northern atoll, southern atoll, and the Jessie Beazley Reef. Visitors can only explore the clear waters from a liveaboard as it is located over 10 hours away from land. The diving season takes place from mid-March to mid-June as that is when the water is at its calmest and clearest with a visibility of up to 114 feet. The reef is known for its vast biodiversity as it is reported to have over 1,200 species — 181 of which are threatened.
5) Solomon Islands - Oceania Pacific
Diving in the Solomon Islands is perfect for visitors hoping for a more private, secluded experience with untouched reefs. There are nearly a thousand islands in the archipelago, and almost all of them are uninhabited. The water temperature is consistently in the low to high 80s, making it comfortable to dive in year-round. However, January through April is monsoon season, which brings the greatest amounts of wind and rain that could disrupt diving. What makes the Solomon Islands so unique is that their waters hold a time capsule that sends divers back to World War II with its numerous plane and shipwrecks at various depths. In addition to these one-of-a-kind wrecks, divers can also explore reefs, walls, slopes, pinnacles, and more. Visitors can choose to spend their time in the Solomon Islands on a liveaboard or from a resort on land.
6) Chuuk Lagoon - Micronesia
Chuuk Lagoon is a mountainous island that was once a former Japanese naval base during the second world war. The island’s history has been kept alive in its own waters with its array of sunken treasure, submerged ships teeming with marine life, and even human remains. Divers in the Lagoon’s Pacific waters get to explore part of this history, and often even find artifacts such as ammunition or guns. The wrecks vary in their depth, making them accessible for just about any level of diver. The temperature is consistently warm year-round; however, December to April is ideal due to the lack of rainfall and wind during this season.
Calipso Galapagos Liveaboard
2021 Discount $1700 Off All Year
This is a bucket list destination and a super discounted deal. You can book any of the available charter dates throughout 2021 and get a $1700 USD per person discount. Also get FREE nitrox and a 1-night stay in Quito or Guayaquil for ease of transit. These dates must be booked before February 14, 2021.
- Jan 14th to July 8th, 2021: was $5495 now $3795 p.p
- From July 8th to Dec 31st, 2021: was $5696 now $3995 p.p
Galapagos Master Liveaboard
March 2021 - 30% Discount
Dive Travel "Bucket List" Adventure
We have cabins available on the Galapagos Master Liveaboard for March 2021 with a 30% discount. Travel dates and rates are as follows:
- 01 - 08 March 2021 7 Days Was $6150, now $4305 USD
- 08 - 15 March 2021 7 Days Was $6150, now $4305 USD
- 15 - 22 March 2021 7 Days Was $6150, now $4305 USD
- 22 March - 01 April 2021 10 days Was $7820, now $5474 USD
Rates are per person double occupancy. Other fees:
- Marine Park & Port Fees: $100 USD Galapagos National Park Fees (upon your arrival in the San Cristóbal)
- Tourist Card: $25 USD (before boarding your domestic flights to the Galapagos visit the INGALA booth at Guayaquil airport)
- Chamber Support Fee: $35 USD
The Galápagos Islands are an Ecuadorian archipelago of volcanic islands straddling the equator about 970 km west of continental Ecuador. The Galapagos are a UNESCO World Heritage site, an official Ecuadorian province, an Ecuadorian National Park as well as a biological marine reserve.
Tiburon Explorer Liveaboard
$2150 USD Discount
- November 7, 2020
- December 19-26, 2020
- January 2, 2021
- January 30, 2021
The Tiburon Explorer, launched in September 2020, accommodates 16 passengers in 9 air-conditioned staterooms. All staterooms are located on the main and lower decks and have windows to maximize views of the renowned Pacific Ocean and Galapagos Archipelago. In addition, each stateroom has twin beds that can be converted to comfortable queen beds for couples, and include private bath and shower facilities, dressers, and closets. When not dreaming about whale sharks and their next dive, guests can enjoy the air-conditioned salon on the main deck, furnished with dining tables and TV/lounge area. Sunning and viewing areas on the top deck offer ample seating and a hot tub where you can regale stories of hammerheads from your day.
Book this liveaboard with us and get a $2150 discount on the selected dates. Book fast!
Experience the BEST diving in Wolf and Darwin on the Nortada Liveaboard
October 2017 Special Rate $4190 per person
Available dates: October 6-13, 2017 or October 20-27, 2017 or October 27 to November 3, 2017. Contact us by email for discounted rates.
WWDS Master Fleet Liveaboard Specials - Big Discounts
Must Book by 31 May 2017 - Call Us Fast...!
French Polynesia Master - Fakarava & the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
Last Minute Special - 25% discount
• 7 nights: 24 June - 1 July 2017
Truk Master - Master Truk Lagoon
• 7 nights: 23 July - 30 July 2017
• 10 nights: 6 - 16 September 2017
Red Sea Master - Northern Wrecks & Reefs
• 7 nights: 11 - 18 Aug 2017 - was $1150 now $1035
• 7 nights: 18 - 25 Aug 2017 - was $950 now $855
• 7 nights: 13 - 20 Nov. 2017 - Pelagic Encounters
• 7 nights: 21 - 28 Nov. 2017 - Magical Maldives
• 12 nights: 30 Nov. - 13 Dec. 2017 - Central Atolls & Beyond