Skip navigation
30/06/2015 Ocean protection Research

2015 Galapagos Symposium: Marine Conservation

The Galapagos Marine Reserve hosts an amazing diversity of marine wildlife including Galapagos penguins, whale sharks and marine iguanas.

Photograph of Holly Forsyth

Holly Forsyth

Former Communications Assistant at Galapagos Conservation Trust

Through the Galapagos Future Fund we’re supporting projects that increase our understanding of these species and contribute to the successful management of the marine reserve.

Marine Conservation

At the 2015 Galapagos Symposium, Alex Hearn from the Turtle Island Restoration Network spoke about the Galapagos Marine Reserve as a key site for migratory marine species in the Eastern Tropical Pacific.

The Galapagos Marine Reserve is one of a network of oceanic Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Region. For the last decade, scientists throughout the region have been working together to understand the importance of these MPAs to threatened migratory marine species such as sharks and turtles.

Wildlife, Green Turtle2 ©Alex Hearn

By means of a combination of acoustic and satellite tags, these species have been tracked as they migrate between the islands, and their spatial ecology is studied once they’re within the reserve. The findings of this research showed that scalloped hammerhead sharks formed seasonal aggregations at these islands yet dispersed offshore at night, presumably to feed. Galapagos sharks were more resident, while whale sharks made movements of thousands of kilometres, and spent only small periods of time at the sites.

Wildlife, Galapagos Shark ©Jonathan Green_1000x600

A region-wide approach to conservation of these and other migratory species must involve steps beyond the boundaries of the marine reserves. So far, Ecuador has paved the way forward by placing bans on catching and landing hammerhead sharks throughout its national waters.


The Galapagos Future Fund provides a platform to support research such as this that is essential to safeguarding the future of the unique wildlife of Galapagos. With your support, we can continue to fund projects to protect endemic species and to investigate the unknown natural wonders of the Archipelago. Please make a donation to the Galapagos Future Fund and in turn make a difference to the future of the Galapagos.  

GFF Logo

Related articles

24th Apr 2024
Ocean protection

Reflections on the 2024 UN Ocean Decade conference

In April, GCT’s CEO, Dr Jen Jones, and Senior Development Manager, Alice Marks, represented GCT and our Pacific Plastics: Science to Solutions partners at the UN Ocean Decade Conference in Barcelona.
Read more
Spotted eagle ray off Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz
5th Dec 2023
Ocean protection Women in science

A week in the life of a female marine researcher

In our latest blog, Andrea Vera invites us to join her on a recent expedition, supported by GCT, to monitor marine species including one of the world's most curious creatures, the hagfish.
Read more
7th Nov 2023
Ocean protection Tourism

Galapagos and the Antarctic: A look beneath the surface

Vsitors to the tropical Galapagos Islands are frequently reminded of the connectivity this remote island ecosystem has with a much more frigid part of our planet: Antarctica.
Read more
Galapagos bullhead shark
9th Jun 2023
Citizen science Ocean protection

Galapagos Bullhead Shark Project: Citizen science in the Galapagos Marine Reserve

Since its discovery 175 years ago, the Galapagos bullhead shark had been almost ‘forgotten’ from science. So little was known about the species the IUCN had assessed it as ‘Data Deficient’.
Read more

Get the latest news from Galapagos

Join our mailing list to receive our monthly email newsletter, bringing you the latest news on Galapagos and our work to protect the Islands.

Share This Page