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Mexico declares Revillagigedo Islands a natural protected area

Mexico City, Mexico — The Government of Mexico will seek to declare the Revillagigedo Islands, located in Colima, a National Park to protect its biodiversity.

This archipelago of the Pacific, conformed by the islands of San Benedicto, Socorro and Clarión and the islet of Roca Partida, would become a Natural Protected Area, making it the largest in North America.

The new decree will include the entire polygon, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on 17 July 2016.

The appointment includes the prohibition of all types of fishing in the area, including commercial, sports and aquaculture.

The head of the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (Conanp), Alejandro Del Mazo Maza, said that the decree will guarantee maximum protection of this heritage.

“In order to ensure the maximum protection of this world heritage, the most restrictive category of conservation in our national legislation will be used, and all types of fishing will be banned,” he said during the recent Global Conference in Malta.

The official promised that, for no reason will the development of hotel infrastructure in the islands be allowed.

“The archipelago and its surrounding waters promote aggregations of a large number of species of corals, molluscs, crustaceans, pelagic fish and sharks,” Conanp said in a statement.

Revillagigedo is crucial for the connectivity of species shared with protected areas of Galapagos, in Ecuador, Malpelo, in Colombia, Cocos in Costa Rica and the marine monuments of the remote Pacific islands belonging to the United States.

The marine portion of the islands constitutes a unique natural heritage, possessing fragile, exceptionally well-preserved and highly biodiverse marine and terrestrial ecosystems.It also houses endemic seabird nesting sites and four species of endangered sea turtles.

It is the most important marine shark aggregation site in the Mexican Eastern Tropical Pacific and is the key site for reproduction and feeding of the humpback whale, among other species of marine mammals considered at risk.

The fourth edition of the Global Conference in Malta included officials from 100 countries announcing commitments and contributions to promote sustainable fisheries, mitigate the impact of climate change, create new marine protected areas and fight pollution.

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