Mexico Created the Largest Ocean Reserve in North America

The Revillagigedo Archipelago National Park will protect hundreds of species of fish, whales, sharks, and turtles


Breaching Young Humpback Whale near Socorro Island, The Revillagigedos Archipelago

(Jacek Jasinski /

Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto officialy the Revillagigedo Archipelago National Park this Friday, thereby creating the largest ocean reserve in North America.

This designation will protect almost 150,000 square kilometers of ocean teeming with 37 species of sharks and rays, four species of threatened sea turtles, and more than 350 species of fish, 26 of which can only be found in this part of the world.

“With this decision, Mexico has become a world leader in marine conservation and joins the list of countries that are increasing their protected marine area,” Nora Torres of the Coalition for the Defense of the Seas of Mexico told Newsweek in an email.

The newly created national park provides the highest protection possible in Mexico and includes four uninhabited volcanic islands which are located where the cold waters of the California current meet warmer waters from the north equatorial current, creating an area where species such as whales, dolphins, sharks, and sea turtles can thrive.

Last year, the International Union for Conservation of Nature recommended that we need to protect at least 30 percent of the world's oceans to effectively preserve biodiversity.

Mexico's wonderful move pushes the world closer to that goal and preservationists hope that it will create a gold standard for marine conservation.

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