Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary

Platinum Global Ocean Refuge

 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.

Global Ocean Refuge Facts
Award:
Platinum
Award Year: 
2017
Management: 

Unidad Administrativa Especial del Sistema de Parques Nacionales Naturales of Colombia

Size: 
 9,741 km²
Other Awards:
UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mission Blue Hope Spot, IMO Particularly Sensitive Sea Area, Important Bird Area

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 Global Ocean Refuge System (GLORES) as a Platinum level refuge in further recognition of its strong protection for marine wildlife.

 

GLORES is a Marine Conservation Institute initiative designed to create a global network of effective marine protected areas to safeguard marine biodiversity. Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park joined Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary as inaugural Global Ocean Refuges, and we cannot wait to recognize more world-class blue parks soon.