Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary
The sanctuary is the largest no-fishing zone in the Eastern Tropical Pacific and it teems with wildlife, including huge shark aggregations and many marine mammals.
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. The 8,575 square kilometer 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.
The sanctuary 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 pledged to double the sanctuary’s size. Malpelo’s management success is well-recognized worldwide, it joined the Global Ocean Refuge System as a Platinum level refuge in further recognition of its strong protection for marine wildlife.
The Global Ocean Refuge System is a Marine Conservation Institute initiative working to build a global network of effective marine protected areas to save ocean wildlife. In 2018, the Global Ocean Refuge System grew to include 10 blue parks around the world.