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In Photos: Mexico's New Ocean Reserve Protects Stunning Biodiversity

Protecting biodiversity

Marine Life in Mexico

(Image credit: Pelagic Life)

The Revillagigedo Archipelago, a chain of four volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean near Mexico, is home to a spectacularly diverse community of sea life, including dozens of fish species found nowhere else on Earth. Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto recently designated these islands and the surrounding waters as a marine reserve and national park,prohibiting natural resource extraction, commercial fishing and development, to preserve the island ecosystems and marine life.

In this photo, taken near Revillagigedo Islands in Mexico, a sailfish swims toward a bait ball.

Silky sharks

Marine Life in Mexico

(Image credit: Pelagic Life)

At Roca Partida, one of the four volcanic islands in the newly-protected Revillagigedo Archipelago near Mexico, several silky sharks (Carcharhinus falciformis) gather for mating rituals. At least 37 species of sharks and rays are found in waters around these islands.

Beauty in the depths

Marine Life in Mexico

(Image credit: Pelagic Life)

Off the coast of Mexico near the Revillagigedo Islands, carion angelfish (Holacanthus clarionensis) swim en masse.

Swift swimmers

Marine Life in Mexico

(Image credit: Pelagic Life)

A group of dolphins are seen swimming near the Revillagigedo Islands. These islands are volcanic peaks of a seamount — an underwater mountain range — which is home to diverse communities of fish, sea turtles, dolphins and whales.

A protected area

Marine Life in Mexico

(Image credit: Pelagic Life)

The newly-established Revillagigedo Marine Reserve lies about 240 miles (390 km) to the southwest of Cabo San Lucas, on the Baja California Peninsula's southern tip, and is made up of 57,177 square miles (148,087 square kilometers) of land and water.

A plethora of species

Marine Life in Mexico

(Image credit: Pelagic Life)

An estimated 366 species of fish and over 37 species of sharks and rays inhabit the waters around the Revillagigedo Islands in Mexico.

Beneath the waves

Marine Life in Mexico

(Image credit: Pelagic Life)

A group of divers explore the waters around Rosa Partida, one of the volcanic islands in the Revillagigedo Archipelago.

Coral community

Marine Life in Mexico

(Image credit: Pelagic Life)

Off the coast of Mexico, coral reefs are home to many marine species in the waters around the Revillagigedo Islands. Reefs in protected areas have proven to be more resilient to climate change, and can even help repopulate ocean regions where corals are depleted.

Fellow travellers

Marine Life in Mexico

(Image credit: Pelagic Life)

A mature female and young male Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) swim in the waters off Roca Partida, one of the islands in the Revillagigedo Archipelago. Humpbacks migrate through these waters seasonally, lingering through the winter months.

Exotic location

Marine Life in Mexico

(Image credit: Pelagic Life)

The islands in the Revillagigedo Archipelago — Claríon, Roca Partida, Socorro and San Benedicto — are located in the Pacific Ocean near Mexico, and are uninhabited by humans except for two small naval bases.

Sail away

Marine Life in Mexico

(Image credit: Pelagic Life)

In the waters off the coast of Mexico, a manta ray glides through a school of fish.