A mission the secure the future of Malpelo

PROTECT MALPELO - PROJECT SILKY

The Biodiversity Conservation Colombia foundation is an environmental nonprofit ONG created by philanthropists, conservationists, and divers dedicated to protect and preserve nature, especially pristine areas of complex care.

Initially created to protect the marine wildlife of world patrimony SFF Malpelo through the 

PROTECT MALPELO – PROJECT SILKY initiative from illegal fishing, we look to grow and expand to other areas of conservational interest.

Learn about the project

What is Malpelo?

The Malpelo Fauna and flora sanctuary  is the largest no-fishing zone in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, providing a critically important habitat for internationally threatened marine species, and is a major source of nutrients resulting in large aggregations of marine biodiversity. The protected marine area provides a sanctuary for breeding populations of migrating sharks, whale sharks, giant grouper and billfish and it is one of the few places in the world where sightings of the short-nosed ragged-toothed shark, a deepwater shark, have been confirmed. The Humboldt current and rich up-welling’s of plankton provide conditions around that sustain a high biodiversity and biomass of marine life. Widely acclaimed as one of the top diving sites in the world Malpelo supports has populations of large predators and pelagic species (e.g. aggregations of several hundred hammerhead sharks and over 1,000 silky sharks, whale sharks and tuna have been recorded) in an undisturbed environment where they maintain natural behavioral patterns.

MALPELO IS

HOPE SPOT BY

SENSITIVE SEA AREAS BY

IMPORTANT AREA FOR BIRD CONSERVATION BY

¿WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO PROTECT MALPELO?

The Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary forms part of the Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape (ETPS), A region widely considered one of the richest areas of the world’s oceans, home to the world’s largest populations of several species of sharks, tuna, and billfishes, as well whales and turtles, many of which endangered species. In fact, the ETPS is home to the critically endangered Leatherback and Hawksbill turtles and the endangered Pacific Green Turtle, three species facing population collapses due to long-line fishing in the region. According to the International Whaling Commission, the ETPS is also home to over a third of the world’s whale species, including over half of the remaining population of Blue Whales. All of these species are threatened by illegal fishing and are in desperate need of protection.

 

Malpelo’s abundance of sharks is particularly noteworthy given this apex predator’s rapidly declining numbers globally. With an estimated 100 million sharks being killed every year, many species are now threatened with extinction. Of these, the Scalloped Hammerhead shark (endangered) and the Silky shark (vulnerable) are among the most frequently fished, leading to a global population decline of between 60-99% (Shark Savers 2012). These sharp declines can be illustrated by the dwindling number of sites around the world where large schools of either Silky or Scalloped Hammerhead sharks can be observed regularly. While such large aggregations were common in the 1990’s around places like Layang Layang (Malaysia), Northern Borneo, Madivaru (Maldives), Lombok/Komodo (Indonesia) and the Red Sea, researchers suggest that both the frequency of sightings and the size of schools have fallen sharply over the past two decades, with such large aggregations seldom seen today.

 

Although the ETPS is also witnessing declining populations due to legal over-exploitation and illegal fishing, its remaining biomass of pelagic species is unparalleled anywhere on the planet. In fact, the marine protected areas of Cocos, the Galapagos, and Malpelo are amongst the last remaining places in the world where divers still regularly encounter large schools of open ocean sharks, such as the Scalloped Hammerhead and Silky Shark. Therefore of critical importance that every effort is expended to preserve these marvels of marine biodiversity. Over a decade of scientific research involving satellite tagging has established that the region’s sharks, rays, and turtles migrate between the various marine protected areas (MPA’s) of the ETPS. Due to this high degree of connectivity, it is indispensable that the region’s three top biodiversity hotspots of Cocos, Galapagos, and Malpelo be adequately protected, as continued poaching in one MPA would threaten the entire region’s biodiversity.

The Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary forms part of the Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape (ETPS), A region widely considered one of the richest areas of the world’s oceans, home to the world’s largest populations of several species of sharks, tuna, and billfishes, as well whales and turtles, many of which endangered species. In fact, the ETPS is home to the critically endangered Leatherback and Hawksbill turtles and the endangered Pacific Green Turtle, three species facing population collapses due to long-line fishing in the region. According to the International Whaling Commission, the ETPS is also home to over a third of the world’s whale species, including over half of the remaining population of Blue Whales. All of these species are threatened by illegal fishing and are in desperate need of protection.

 

 

What we do

With our project, we seek to maintain a non-stop presence in the sanctuary, surveilling the area daily to detect illegal fishermen and completing various other tasks. Since 2016 we have been working non-stop to protect Malpelo and preserve its ecosystem; each year since then, the marine wildlife population has grown exponentially, and we aim to keep the numbers rising in the years to come.
We are constantly improving operating systems, adopting new cutting-edge technological resources, and maximizing the use of clean energy to create a sustainable model that can stay in the area for long periods of time.

We clean

at 490 kilometers away from land, we find marine debris, like plastic bottles, straws, bags, cans, fishing gear, lines, rope, nets, etc.

We Educate

by developing a global media resource and educational outreach campaign; to activate social and political change, working with scientists, eco-tourism enterprises, and high-profile partners.

WITH YOUR HELP WE CAN CONTINUE TO PROTECT MALPELO

In Malpelo

  • Fishing of any kind is prohivited

    With penalties of up to 18 years imprisonment and $1 million CO Pesos fines for both those caught illegally fishing in Malpelo as well as the vessel proprietors.

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