The Revillagigedo Archipelago is a biodiversity hotspot

Last month’s decision by the Mexican government to declare a fully protected marine reserve around the Revillagigedo Archipelago was truly historic.  Teeming with life found nowhere else on the planet, this biodiversity hotspot is now completely protected from fishing and other extractive activities.

Here are just a selection of some of the incredible animals that can be found there.

Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) swim together in ‘pods’ in the waters around the Revillagigedo Archipelago off the coast of Mexico (c) Pelagic Life


Silky sharks (Carcharhinus falciformis) gather each spring to mate off Roca Partida in the Revillagigedo Archipelago (c) Pelagic Life


A group of sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) approaches a bait ball near the Revillagigedo Archipelago (c) Pelagic Life


A Manta Ray in the waters of the Revillagigedo Islands off the coast of Mexico (c) Pelagic Life


Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) off the coast of Revillagigedo Islands near Mexico (c) Pelagic Life


Silky sharks (Carcharhinus falciformis), gather in big schools around Roca Partida Island as part of their mating rituals around the Revillagigedo Archipelago (c) Pelagic Life




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

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.