Islas Marias Shark Monitoring Project
According to anecdotic evidence, the Islas Marias archipelago has an important role in the life history of many top predators. Depict its ecological importance, limited information on the archipelago’s marine life exists. The presence of a prison in one of the islands has limited the access of scientists to the area for decades. These conditions make the Islas Marias archipelago a priority for marine conservation research efforts in the Mexican Pacific.
This project aims to provide the first comprehensive analysis of shark abundance, diversity and movement in the area. In a collaborative effort, scientists from UC Santa Barbara, Pelagios-Kakunja A.C. and Prozona- Grupo Cleofas have performed two expeditions Isla Maria Cleofas to initiate the project. We've so far found evidence that this place is connected to other protected areas (such as Revillagigedo Islands), potentially playing an important role in the life history of migratory shark species. However, this area is under strong pressure from illegal fishing activities. We most act fast to reveal the secrets of this archipelago and provide the necessary protection to shark populations in the Mexican Pacific.