Operation Treasured Islands – Revillagigedo Archipelago is Sea Shepherd’s anti-poaching and research campaign taking place in the largest marine protected area in North America – Mexico’s Revillagigedo Archipelago.
Sea Shepherd is working with Mexican authorities to patrol and defend this protected marine reserve and with scientists to research several of the diverse marine species native to the area including whale sharks, scalloped hammerheads, and false killer whales.
One of the most biodiverse and pristine marine areas in the world, Revillagigedo is located approximately 390 kilometers (240 mi) southwest of Cabo San Lucas, the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico.
It was declared a marine protected area (MPA) in November 2017, and spans more than 57,000 square miles, making it the largest MPA in North America.
The Archipelago was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2016 due to its remarkable biodiversity and importance as breeding and feeding grounds to several species.
The area is home to the largest aggregation of resident manta rays in the world, the greatest diversity of sharks in the Tropical Eastern Pacific, and a wintering sub-population of humpback whales.
Revillagigedo is a critical breeding ground for commercially fished species like tuna and sierra, and has been a target for fishing activity in the past. Fishing is illegal in the Archipelago as the rich waters surrounding it are a critical habitat for numerous species.