North America’s largest MPA is created off the coast of Mexico

Giant Manta Rays swimming off the coast of the Revillagigedo Archipelago will now be protected within North America's largest MPA

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The Bertarelli Foundation congratulates the government of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto who today designated an area 148,087 km2 around the Revillagigedo Archipelago as a fully protected Marine Protected Area (MPA).  This historic decision will safeguard a chain of four volcanic islands in the Pacific and their surrounding marine habitats, some 800 kilometers west of Manzanillo and almost 400 kilometers south of Cabo San Lucas.

The islands—Socorro, Clarión, San Benedicto, and Roca Partida—are located where the cold waters of the California current converge with the warm waters of the North Equatorial current, creating upwellings that bring nutrients from the bottom of the ocean to the surface. These nutrients help feed 366 species of fish—26 of which are endemic, meaning they are not found anywhere else in the world—as well as 37 species of sharks and rays. And they make the region a critical waypoint for whales, dolphins, sharks, tunas, sea turtles, and other migratory species, as well as providing a winter home to humpback whales.

Dona Bertarelli, trustee of the Bertarelli Foundation, said:

“It’s clear to me that now more than ever, we need countries all around the world to follow Mexico’s lead. By protecting the waters around the Revillagigedo Archipelago, and all the incredible marine life that lives there, Mexico is joining a global movement to fully protect 30 per cent. of our ocean – as recommended by scientists and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. It’s an amazing achievement and will ensure a healthy and sustainable ocean for generations to come.”

The Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project joined local partners Beta Diversidad and the Coalition for the Defense of the Seas of Mexico (CODEMAR) to provide technical and scientific support for the establishment of the reserve, and to raise awareness of the benefits of preserving this archipelago.

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