Ecuador Hammerhead Shark

Ecuador: New Hammerhead Shark Nursery Discovered on Isabela Island

A potential new hammerhead shark nursery has been discovered on Isabela Island, in the Galapagos Province.

This discovery came to light during Greenpeace’s recent expedition to the Galapagos Marine Reserve. In a secluded bay on Isabela Island, part of the Galapagos Province, researchers stumbled upon what could be the first breeding ground for smooth hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna zygaena). This finding has ignited considerable interest within the scientific community, given the rarity of sightings of this species in the archipelago, in stark contrast to its more common relative, the hammerhead shark.

The Ministry of Environment, Water, and Ecological Transition (MAATE), in collaboration with the Galapagos National Park Directorate (DPNG), scientists, and other partners, intends to closely monitor this discovery. Their aim is to gather the necessary technical data to confirm the legitimacy of this site as a breeding area, often referred to as a “nursery.”

To this end, a diverse team of technicians and scientists successfully satellite-tagged a sub-adult female smooth hammerhead shark, christened “Alba” in honor of actress Alba Flores from “Money Heist,” who is a passionate advocate for ocean conservation and also took part in the expedition. Researchers will closely track Alba’s movements to evaluate her condition and vulnerability once she leaves the protected waters of the Galapagos archipelago, reports the Ministry of Environment of Ecuador.

It’s noteworthy that Greenpeace’s expedition was a collaborative effort involving scientists and park rangers from MAATE, DPNG, Jocotoco Conservation Foundation, Charles Darwin Foundation, Galapagos Science Center, and MigraMar.

The smooth hammerhead shark inhabits tropical and subtropical waters worldwide, both near the coast and in open seas.

Distinguished by its head lacking the typical indentation giving it a heart-shaped appearance, the smooth hammerhead is classified as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Like all shark species, it occupies a crucial position at the top of the marine food chain, playing an indispensable role in maintaining the balance of the oceanic ecosystem.

MAATE, under the leadership of Minister Sade Fritschi, reiterates its unwavering commitment to environmental equilibrium and the preservation of marine habitats.

 


Soledad Quartucci | CEO/Founder, Latina Republic

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