Revillagigedo, a National Marine Park
Designated as a Biosphere Reserve in 1994, then a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in July 2016, now the Revillagigedo Archipelago in the Mexican Pacific will be National Marine Park.
The current 636 thousand protected hectares, will now grow go to a much greater protected area, where no fishing at all will be allowed or other activities that are not those of recreational diving or scientific investigation.
Carlos Sánchez, PhD and Researcher at the Baja California Autonomies Universidad (UABCS).
"First the main advantage and in fact I believe it is a success in protection is, twofold : going from six nautical miles, which is the current core area, to a radius of sixty nautical miles, almost 14.8 million hectares "
A concern remains since surveillance now will have to be extended 23 times more than currently, so it has been proposed to use high-tech drones for this monumental task.
Octavio Aburto, Researcher and Professor at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and National Geographic: "... they are drones that cost a lot but on a budget to monitor such an area, it's minimal .."
The scientific community has also proposed to review the possibility for satellite surveillance:
Octavio Aburto, Researcher and Professor at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and National Geographic: "... currently monitoring of these devices are in the fishing sector, basically in the National Fisheries Commission and there are already proposals requesting that this monitoring, be part of other government agencies such as the Navy itself or even the Coast Guard that is a newly created unit "
The head of the SEMARNAT, Rafael Pacchiano, assured that tourism development will not be allowed on any of the islands.
Located a little more 390 kilometers southwest of Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, - about 22 navigation hours distance, this group of islands composed by San Benedicto and its volcano, Socorro, the largest of the islands and where there is a Mexican Navy base, the islet of Roca Partida, which is the pinnacle of an underwater mountain, and; the island Clarion, which is the furthest bit of land to the south.
The richness entwined in these islands, in addition to their extraordinary natural beauty, is the great biodiversity which comprises 27 endemic species of coral and fish, as well as up to 12 different species of sharks.
For its part National Geographic presented here in the capital city of La Paz, the Premier of the documentary "Revillagigedo, the wildest Mexico" to a record audience attendance.
Octavio Aburto, Researcher and Professor at Scripps and National Geographic Institute of Oceanography:
"We believe it is very important that Mexicans know it, we have been presenting it in Mexico City, Guadalajara and now in La Paz, we want to take it to Los Cabos, to Manzanillo, all those places where we believe that children, young people, can experience what there is, especially if they cannot go at some point, but continue to inspire all those people ... "
As for the constant comparative references mentioned between Revillagigedo and the Ecuadorian Galapagos Islands, they commented:
Octavio Aburto, Researcher and Professor of the Scripps and National Geographic Institute of Oceanography:
"The Ecuadorian government has for decades thought that promoting tourism in these islands would generate wealth, while at the same time there would be a balance between protecting what there was and the income that it could give; now 30, 40 years later, there is much documentation, that even the government itself is realizing that it was not the best option to have at the time "
Being very fragile ecosystems the frequent presence of humans has deteriorated that site and now it is looking to reduce pressure.
Octavio Aburto, Researcher and Professor at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and National Geographic: "Now you need a visa to be there, you have a limited amount of time, fresh water is scarce, and there are many more limitations. The tourism continues to giving, is for tourists that arrive by boat, they are there near the islands and then return, there is no trash, they do not disembark ,so they do not sleep there "
Carlos Sánchez, PhD and Researcher Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur: "... I believe that if we think that we want to be Galapagos, I think that it is not an example of sustainable development, there is a lot of coastal and social impact towards the islands, only recently the program of Pristine Seas that oversees all the Galapagos, only the Islands farthest from the Archipelago like is Darwin Island and Wolf are those that were declared as a reserve, the rest are in medium levels of degraded health ... "
Finally, academics agreed that the most important thing is for the authorities to ensure that, with the category of Marine National Park, any construction of tourism infrastructure be prohibited since that could affect this fragile ecosystem. And monitoring and surveillance systems be effective.
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