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Malpelo Island (3°58'00"N by 81°37'00"W), a World Heritage Site, is an isolated oceanic habitat of extremely rich marine life in very good condition which is important to the maintenance and dispersal of the marine life of the Eastern Tropical Pacific. It has some of the best diving in the world but is terrestrially barren and unlikely to be developed.
The island's rich oceanic marine life is in excellent condition and is important to the maintenance and dispersal of the marine life of the Eastern Tropical Pacific. The island also has some geological interest for its evidence of recent crustal cooling. It is unlikely to be developed. The site lies within a Conservation International-designated Conservation Hotspot.
The island is administered by a Special Administrative Unit of the Natural National Parks System, and is a key component of the National Fisheries Management Plan for Colombia's Pacific Region. The Park Unit and the Malpelo Foundation protect the island, and 10 volunteers work each year in Volunteer Ranger programs for hammerhead sharks, black turtles, seabirds, coral reefs, demersal fishing and climate. In the Eastern Tropical Pacific region, the management cooperates in the adaptive management of the area which is under increasing pressure from illegal fishing, alien species, tourism and sea traffic. From 2005 a Marine Biological Corridor of Conservational and Sustainable Development between Costa Rica, Panama,Colombia and Ecuador to connect the main sites of the region – Cocos, Coiba, Malpelo, Gorgona, Galapagos – was set up by UNESCO and Conservation International. They are contributing US$619,000 towards a three-year subcomponent for Malpelo to strengthen the Malpelo Foundation operation, with patrols, research cruises and management of the recently expanded area. Collaborating with them in the Corridor are IUCN, UNEP, UNESCO, the Ramsar Convention, the International Commission for Tropical Tuna, Stanford University and the Charles Darwin Foundation of the Galapagos.
The extended protected area around Malpelo has been declared a no fish-take area. It was agreed between the Malpelo Foundation, Colombian National Parks, the Colombian Navy, MarViva, Invemar and Conservation International, to designate a vessel from the Colombian National Navy for patrolling and enforcement in the Sanctuary for at least 20 days a month to protect its natural resources. The refit for this boat for patrolling purposes is mostly being achieved with SEASCAPE project funds. Operations should start in early 2006. The boat has been renamed, will be operated permanently by the Navy, with a permanent crew of seven Navy officers and sailors, as well as staff members from the National Parks, and the NGOs who also support the operation. Sustainable long-term financing for the patrol boat will channel funds via the Colombian National Protected Areas Conservation Fund. Conservation International is to secure an endowment from the Global Conservation Fund. Initial support will come from a $15 million GEF/World Bank project. This will be augmented by a more effective ecotourism fee structure, by sales, by fuller use of existing legal financial procedures and by help from national and international NGOs. Long-term law enforcement to guarantee sustainable fishing of the resources around Malpelo will be through a Surveillance Protocol based on cooperation between all the interested parties to enforce existing national laws informed by the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.
Malpelo is a small island in the East Pacific Ocean, located about 500 km (310 mi) west of the Colombian mainland. Except for a small military post that is manned by the Colombian Armed Forces, it is uninhabited. It consists of a sheer and barren rock with three high peaks, the highest being Cerro de la Mona with a height of 300 metres (980 ft). It is the only island that rises above the surface from the Malpelo Ridge, which is a solitary volcanic submarine ridge that extends in a northeast-southwest direction with a length of 300 kilometres (190 mi) and a width of 100 kilometres (62 mi). This island is surrounded by a number of offshore rocks. Off the northeast corner are the Tres Mosqueteros. Off the southwest corner are Salomon, Saul, La Gringa, and Escuba. As an oceanic island, this island has never been connected with any other islands or the mainland.
Contacts & Resources
Original data record from World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) via ProtectedPlanet.net [view record on site].