© Dietmar Hepp

Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands are a volcanic archipelago about 1000 km west off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific ocean. These islands represent one of the last refuges for some rare land-living species. Still, introduced plants and animals heavily threaten some of them brought accidentally or willingly to the islands by humans. Overall, there are more than 700 introduced plant species today, compared to the only 500 native and endemic species. But the threat does not just occur above water, but below as well, mostly due to illegal fishing.

Eldorado for Every Shark Diver

The Northern islands are very exposed to illegal fisheries. At the same token, these water are an Eldorado for every shark diver: besides the hammerheads schools, one often sees whale sharks, Galapagos sharks, silkies, and other shark species. But not just the sharks make the Galapagos Islands such a vibrant underwater environment, but also the sunfishes, sea horses, mantas, or even iguanas.