April 5, 2010

National Geographic Endeavour
Credit: Sven-Olof Lindblad

The first wave of Mission Blue guests arrived in Ecuador late last week.  We were met by our gracious Lindblad guides, transported to the National Geographic Endeavor and in the water for the first dive of the day by 1 pm.

Our divers sighted hammerhead sharks, sea turtles, loads of fish and sea lions—some with pups.  Later that evening, Sylvia hosted a welcome dinner at Angermeyer Point restaurant in Puerto Ayora, which is owned by her dear friend and Galápagos native, Fiddy Angermeyer.

Dr. Sylvia Earle toasts
the crew and early arrivals 

TED / James Duncan Davidson
Sylvia noted that when she first met Fiddy in 1966, the Galápagos Islands had less than 1000 residents; today there are almost 30,000. This huge increase in demand for natural resources is dramatically impacting the archipelago.  Overfishing, weak regulation, development and irresponsible tourism all create threats to the health of this Hope Spot.  As a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Galápagos Islands need effective management and adequate enforcement of protected areas.  This topic will be addressed during our discussions in the days ahead.

Written by Laura Cassiani
Edited by John Racanelli 


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