Ecuador expands protections around Galápagos, creating ‘a new highway’ for sea life
The South American government will curb fishing in more than 20,000 square miles of ocean next to the archipelago, which is treasured for its abundance of wildlife
The Galápagos, Charles Darwin once said, are “a little world within itself.” Many of the finches, tortoises and other animals that he saw there in 1835 — and that inspired his ideas on evolution — know no other home on Earth.
But the sharks, whales, sea turtles and manta rays that teem in the waters around the wildlife-rich islands are on the move. Like Darwin, who spent only five weeks in the Galápagos, many sea species there are transient, regularly migrating outside that little world and to neighboring island chains.
On Friday, the government of Ecuador announced it will curb fishing in more than 20,000 square miles of ocean to the northeast of the archipelago, in essence erecting guardrails around an underwater animal freeway between the Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands and Costa Rica’s Cocos Island…