Spend two and a half minutes with the creatures flourishing in Ecuador’s new Galápagos Islands marine sanctuary thanks to this footage filmed by National Geographic‘s Pristine Seas team. The Belgium-sized conservation zone aims to protect the area’s unique ecosystem, including the largest biomass of sharks on the planet. From The Guardian:

Some 15,000 square miles (38,000 sq km) of the waters around Darwin and Wolf – the most northern islands – will be made off limits to all fishing to conserve the sharks that congregate there and the ecosystem on which they rely.

Several other smaller “no-take” areas have also been created throughout the volcanic archipelago, a biodiversity hotspot around 600 miles (1,000km) off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean…

More than 34 different species of shark can be found off the shores of the Galápagos including the largest shark species, the filter-feeding whale shark, the migratory hammerhead shark and the Galápagos shark.

Read more about the sanctuary at National Geographic, and more about the Galápagos Islands and its diversity at Galapagos.org.

Next: Swimming with the Galápagos Sea Lions of Isla Plaza Sur.

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