Mexico Creates Illinois-sized Marine Park In the Pacific
The Mexican government has recently created a Marine Park roughly the size of Illinois in the Pacific, so as to safeguard marine species living in those waters. This is the largest such marine park in North America and will be a safe haven for giant rays, whales, turtles, sharks, and all other endemic species living in the area.
Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto chose the Revillagigedo Archipelago, located some 390 km (242 miles) southeast of the Baja California peninsula to be the site for this newly-founded marine park. The Revillagigedo Archipelago is made out of four volcanic islands whose surrounding waters are home to hundreds of species of plants and animals including rays, humpback whales, sea turtles, lizards and migratory birds.
This archipelago is also sometimes known as the Galapagos of North America. This is in reference to the Ecuadorean islands that inspired Charles Darwin to understand and write his famous work, Origin of Species.
Statistics show that by 2048, the oceans will be completely devoid of commercially viable fish. This is caused in large part by overfishing – with many global fisheries already entering into collapse. Nevertheless, this 148,000 square kilometers (57,143 square miles) marine park will also act as a breeding ground for some of these fish, such as tuna and sierra. Fishing will be completely prohibited here, and the island will see a rise in tourism infrastructure, so as to safeguard this plan. With more tourists around, it will be more likely that fishing will not happen in the area.
The Environment Ministry and Navy “will carry out surveillance, equipment and training activities that will include remote monitoring in real time, environmental education directed at fishermen and sanctions against offenders,” said Pena Nieto.
The creation of the marine park is expected to help recover fish populations hit hard by commercial fishing and was praised by the World Wildlife Fund and British billionaire Richard Branson.