Sharing Conservation Stories with Ecoventura

03 Dec 19 /

We joined the guests of the M/V Galapagos Sky to share the marine research we do at the CDF and our deep involvement with the conservation of the marine reserve of this World Heritage Site.

Approximately two years ago, ‘The Galapagos Biodiversity and the Education for Sustainability Fund’ was created by Ecoventura (an Ecuadorian-based tour operator), the Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPD) and the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF). Each year Ecoventura gives the total sum of its cabin sales from two cruises to CDF and the GNPD in contribution to the conservation of the Galapagos Archipelago.

Supporting Science for Conservation and Sustainability Aboard the M/V Galapagos Sky

I’m Nicolas Moity, a marine biologist at CDF. I’ve had the honor of being aboard the M/V Galapagos Sky for one week to share amazing experiences with 14 guests and the crew. The United States of America, Germany, Mexico, India, Belgium, United Kingdom and New Zealand were present in this group of ocean lovers.

Nicolás Moity sharing the research we do at CDF.

Ecoventura’s diving cruises are a diver’s dream: every day we dove in one of the greatest diving locations on Earth! As the guests were discovering the wonders of the Galapagos Marine Reserve while diving in the renowned diving sites of Darwin’s Arch, Landslide and Cape Douglas, their curiosity about the natural history of the species they encountered began to grow. Each evening I had the opportunity to share my knowledge about the Galapagos and interact with the guests and the guides. It was an awesome experience to be able to tell stories about the latest discoveries that were made by CDF scientists.

The way you presented your lectures was very well made. Easy, clear, educated, and with a clever use of the infographics. Everyone enjoyed your lectures and were looking forward to your lectures every day. It brought everyone together so it became a forum for discourse and discussion” – said Richard, one of the guests.

A green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) shares our safety stop in Darwin.

We talked about the Galapagos Marine Reserve and why diving there is so unique; why we see certain species at certain places and not others and how this changes along the year, as well as during El Niño and La Niña events. We explored how these changes are actually visible in the field and through satellite imagery. We investigated mangroves and their importance within the reserve and discussed how the CDF mapped the distribution of this habitat in the Archipelago and set up a methodology that could be replicated elsewhere. We also addressed the importance of sustainable marine tourism practices and the latest discoveries from the DiveStat Program.

It’s fascinating. The more you know, the more you enjoy the next dive. The more information, the more pleasure” – said Ashok, another guest.

The lectures sparked interesting discussions with the guests and our amazing diving guides, Max, Quike and Leandro. These discussions, in turn, brought up interesting stories from the guests. I’m always amazed how behind each and every tourist there is an interesting story.

For example, I was astonished to hear Ashok and Rachel’s story. They are trying to change the future of more than 500 million women in India by addressing sanitary issues with the use of a revolutionary material for sanitary pads. Rix and Werner love to go on diving holidays, but save lives during their daily work as doctors. Carlos, Tom and Anthony are three friends who live in different countries, but meet every year for a diving trip to the best diving spots in the world; they have been doing this for more than a decade. These were all compelling stories of dedication, friendship, passion and dreams.

The guests enjoyed Nicolas’ lectures. It encouraged discussion, better understanding of the dive sites and the broader environment. Also the work of the CDF and their research. We booked this week to attend the lectures and better understand the work of the CDF” – said Michael, a guest on the ship.

I am continually amazed by the natural wonders of the Galapagos Marine Reserve after diving its waters for more than six years. Sharing my passion for science, conservation and Galapagos with people that love diving and the ocean just as much as I do, has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have experienced so far. I would like to thank Ecoventura for making these adventures possible.

A school of yellowtail grunts (Anisotremus interruptus) visit us at the end of a dive in Darwin's Arch.

Ecoventura’s support through the Galapagos Biodiversity and Education for Sustainability Fund is essential for the continuity of the CDF’s research and the GNPD’s management efforts. For more information about the fund or to book a trip to the Galapagos Islands with one of our scientists, please visit Ecoventura’s website.

The execution of the CDF’s mission depends entirely on the generosity of individuals, foundations and companies. Make a difference by contributing to our vital research, conservation and outreach work today. If you want to support our work please Donate Now.

Andres Cruz

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