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Special mission - Galapagos Evolution

The Galapagos archipelago is located 970 km from the mainland and belongs to Ecuador. It consists of 13 large islands (4 inhabited), 6 small and over 40 smaller ones. All of them were formed as a result of tectonic activity about 5 – 6 million years ago. The islands are known for their endemic animal
Published: February 8, 2017 - 15:29
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 14:45
Special mission – Galapagos Evolution

The Galapagos archipelago is located 970 km from the mainland and belongs to Ecuador. It consists of 13 large islands (4 inhabited), 6 small and over 40 smaller ones. All of them were formed as a result of tectonic activity about 5 – 6 million years ago. The islands are known for their endemic animal and plant species and for the scientific studies of Charles Darwin, who developed the theory of evolution here.

The area of Ecuador as a whole, especially considering the water, is one of the richest ecosystems in the world. The islands of the archipelago alone are a natural refuge for 2,900 known fish species, not to mention endemic species. As many as 57 of these are on the IUNC Red List of threatened species.

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Galapagos Avernes Project005

As one of the most important marine parks in the world, the Galapagos requires our commitment by strengthening the protection of creatures so that they can live and reproduce without any human intervention.

Charles Darwin used to say: ‘These islands are, like a small world in themselves, an inexhaustible source of new things’. He was enchanted by the magic of the islands and by the fact that the animals here are very trusting and can be approached at arm’s length. Anyone who has been to the Galapagos will confirm this amazing phenomenon.

The Galapagos Evolution Project was created to draw attention to the uniqueness and rarity of the local ecosystem. To protect it and to speak on behalf of these wonderful marine creatures.

Galapagos Avernes Project001

Professional diver Roberto Ochoa from Ecuador has gathered a group of enthusiasts from all over the world to carry out his mission. And so, thanks to them, the world heard not only about breathtaking dives, but above all about the fact that the uniqueness of these places must be protected. The main areas under consideration were the Darwin and Wolf Islands, about 100 miles off the coast of the Galapagos.

These islands are the furthest out into the ocean. The boat trip takes several hours. The best time to dive is from June to November. The life is most spectacular then. We can observe hundreds of different sharks, including, of course, huge schools of hammerheads. There are the largest manta rays, orlenos, dolphins, green turtles, barracudas and the largest of the fish – whale sharks. Plus lots of others, such as tuna, carangs, moray eels and so on.

Galapagos Avernes Project003

But the most interesting thing Roberto and the team that formed around the project did was to focus on freediving. Diving equipment was discarded and divers jumped into the water diving and swimming with all these creatures on held breath. What did they gain? Proximity. They were treated as if they were their own. Now they were not frightened by exhaled air. The impenetrable limit of about 10 metres that sharks, for example, maintain was gone. Swimming eye to eye and fin to fin with the permanent inhabitants of the Galapagos’ depths, the freedivers shortened the distance and one of the participants, a Frenchman, said: “I have never been afraid of diving with sharks as, once submerged, all aggression and fear disappears, a friendly understanding emerges”. By the way, it turned out that nobody had ever tried this in the archipelago before.

Wolf and Darwin Islands are known for their ‘abundance’ of sharks. Fortunately, they were named a marine sanctuary in 1998 to protect them from unregulated fishing and angling. Arriving at the islands, they appear inaccessible and downright uninteresting. It is true that land excursions are strictly forbidden, but underwater, eyes can pop out of masks. Dives here are for advanced divers, because the conditions are very difficult. There are waves and strong currents. It is very easy to get lost, so locators and buoys should be mandatory. The islands themselves are inhabited by over a dozen endemic bird species. An interesting bird among them is the Vampire finch, which feeds on the blood of animals.

When going to the Galapagos we may not get to these furthest islands. Trips here are limited and not everyone who has dived in the Galapagos has dived at Wolf and at Darwin Arche.

Galapagos Avernes Project004

However, the most important thing for you, dear reader, is that during the Podwodna Przygoda trade fair from 3-5 March 2017, at our Divers24.pl stand you will have the opportunity to move into the underwater world of the Galapagos. The Galapagos Evolution project is being created by Cressi Ambassadors. Thanks to the efforts of Divers24, ExtremeDivers owner of cressishop.pl, Cressi and Ocean-Tech Sp. z o.o owner of diveyswiat.pl you will be able to see a great VR presentation. Just come, put on your special VR goggles and move for a few minutes into the middle of the ocean in the other hemisphere, where you will swim with sharks, iguanas and other interesting creatures.

Cressi brand ambassadors:

Roberto Ochoa- Project Director Galapagos Evolution

Pierre Cousteau – voiceover, content supervision

Loe Morales – diver and diving record holder

Guillaume Nery – freediver and freediving world champion

Estrella Navarro – Freediving champion

Ocean Ramsey – marine biologist,

Natalie Parra – freediver and environmentalist

Dirian Develetian – Virtual Reallity Go Pro specialist

Juan Oliphant – underwater photographer

Pelayo Salinas de Leon – Specialist Charles Darvin

David Pimentel – Lecturer and film production specialist

www.galapagosevolution.org – at this address you will find more information about the project.

You are cordially invited.

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About author

Marcin Pawełczyk
Marcin’s journey with diving has been an adventure. Starting as a recreational diver, he soon found himself drawn to the fascinating stories and mysteries of Baltic wrecks. After gaining experience, Marcin decided to go beyond just leisurely exploration and took his training up a notch by completing the TMX course, allowing him to explore even deeper and uncover the secrets of inaccessible places. His next challenge has been cave diving, where he is honing his skills to become a certified diver. Not content to simply take in the breathtaking beauty of underwater life, Marcin has also embraced underwater photography since 2018, capturing stunning shots that bring these worlds alive for those who are unable to experience them first-hand. Marcin’s passion for the underwater has taken him far and is sure to continue doing so as he dives into new depths and captures breathtaking images.
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