© Dietmar Hepp


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 refuge for some rare land-living species, but some of them are heavily threatened by introduced plants and animals 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. Mostly hammerhead sharks that can be seen in large schools around the Northern islands, Wolf and Darwin, are taken for their fins by longliners. 

Eldorado for Every Shark Diver

It is these Northern islands that are very exposed to these fisheries. At the same token, these water are an Eldorado for every shark diver: beside the hammerheads schools, one often sees whale sharks, Galapagos sharks, silkies and other shark species. But not just the sharks make the Galapagos Island such a rich underwater environment but also the sun fishes, sea horses, mantas or even iguanas.