Ecuador’s Galapagos National Park has introduced regulations to reduce the impact of tourism on ecologically sensitive sites on the Galapagos Islands.
The new rules are designed to protect the marine park, which has been suffering from erosion and over-visitation in recent years.
Located 965 kilometres off the coast of Equador, Galapagos was made famous by Charles Darwin whose theory of evolution is largely attributed to his observation of animal variations resulting from adaptation to the islands’ varying isolated environments.
The new regulations, which take effect on February 1, forbid ships from visiting most island sites more than once in a 14-day period and will limit snorkelling, kayaking and boat rides to specific times and sites.
The cruise ship schedules of 50 cruise companies operating in the marine park will be affected. Many have welcomed the changes, however, with one stating that the reduced numbers will provide a better experience for passengers.
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