Aqua Expeditions partners with Charles Darwin Foundation for Galapagos conservation

   July 2, 2024 ,   Cruise Industry

Aqua Expeditions/fleet announced a partnership with the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) to bolster conservation efforts in the Galapagos Archipelago. As the region’s largest and oldest conservation organization, the CDF is dedicated to preserving the Galapagos' biodiversity through scientific research.

This partnership aims to fund the CDF’s "Shark Ecology and Conservation" and "Education and Outreach Programs," crucial initiatives for protecting endemic shark populations and promoting effective mangrove conservation. Guests aboard Aqua Mare superyacht’s Galapagos expeditions will have the opportunity to learn about the CDF’s efforts by interacting with delegates onboard and visiting the Marine Research Center.

Additionally, guests can support the fundraising efforts through donations or by purchasing CDF merchandise onboard Aqua Mare. A US$500 donation to the mangrove ecology program will fund the rearing of 50 mangrove seedlings to restore an area affected by a volcanic eruption, while a US$500 contribution to shark ecology will cover health checks for 10 sharks, including blood analysis for population health studies. Beyond these fundraising initiatives, Aqua Expeditions has committed to an annual donation of US$5,000 to support the CDF’s programs.

The "Shark Ecology" program focuses on understanding local distribution patterns, population status, movement patterns, and connectivity levels of shark species within the archipelago. This data is used to develop effective management plans for the long-term conservation and protection of these sharks and serves as a baseline for studying the effects of climate change on local shark populations.

Mangroves, the most efficient carbon capture and storage system globally, are critical for climate change mitigation. Scientists and conservationists have historically overlooked the Galapagos’ mangrove ecosystem. The CDF’s "Mangrove Ecology Program" aims to support the research and conservation of this under-researched ecosystem by identifying key mangrove areas that contribute to carbon storage, biodiversity, and marine protection.

Aqua Expeditions’ partnership with the CDF underscores its commitment to responsible tourism. The brand recently announced a global sustainability partnership with 4Ocean and pledged to reduce carbon emissions through the Science Based Targets Initiative.