The Eastern Tropical Pacific is one of the richest areas of biodiversity on this blue planet. It is also an area presently under destructive assault by well-organized industrialized poachers.
Operation Treasured Islands is Sea Shepherd’s long-term campaign in the region that focuses on investigating illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. This stretch of the ocean encompasses the waters, coasts and islands off the shores of Central and South America. It includes the Galápagos Islands and Marine Reserve, Cocos Island, Malpelo Island, and Coiba National Park—all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The high biological diversity of the Corridor is due to the convergence of five ocean currents, making the region a well-known migration path for hundreds of species including 88 species of shark.
Despite the increased protection, IUU fishing continues to place enormous pressure on the marine ecosystem of the Eastern Tropical Pacific. Many keystone species, such as sharks, groupers and snappers, are disappearing at alarming rates due to overfishing and bycatch, creating a destructive ripple effect on the marine ecosystem.