Conservation and education efforts and programs

Conservation is a cornerstone of our business. We have watched a lot of the inhabitants of our oceans get wiped out over the 15 years that we have been running dive charters and it is impossible not to be VERY concerned and feel a huge need to do "something".

We are told that 20 years ago divers would see 300 silky sharks at places like Roca Partida in the Revillagigedo Islands (Socorro Island). We still see silky, galapagos, silvertip, hammerhead and white tip reef sharks out there but probably only 5 - 10% of what divers used to encounter.

We are not ready to give up on the ocean and we vigorously support conservation and education efforts with our best effort to make a difference. We encourage and ask for your help in supporting the following programs.

The Socorro Island/Revillagigedos Conservation Fund is a donor-advised fund at the International Community Foundation in San Diego, a fully tax-exempt 501c3 public charity in the U.S. (www.icfdn.org).   Socorro Island is one of 4 beautiful and remote islands in the Revillagigedo Archipelago located 250 miles out in open ocean due south of Cabo San Lucas and Baja California.  The islas are a protected Biosphere Reserve and sanctuary for a population of sharks, dolphins, turtles, more than 200 giant manta rays and a winter population of 1200 humpback whales.  Scuba divers describe these islands as one of the crown jewels of diving in Mexico.  The Revillagigedos ecosystem is under immense pressure from illegal shark fishermen on the marine side and non-endemic species on the terrestrial side.  The immediate goal of the Revillagigedo Conservation Fund is to provide a vehicle to make a difference and help with the Mexican effort of surveillance and detection of illegal fishing activities.  A direct action plan is currently being formulated by a group of passionate Mexican divers in cooperation with CONANP and with the assistance of the Solmar V and Nautilus Explorer dive boats.  Any contribution - no matter how small - will go directly towards preserving and protecting these beautiful islands.

The Guadalupe Conservation Fund is a donor-advised fund at the International Community Foundation in San Diego, a fully tax-exempt 501c3 public charity in the U.S. (www.icfdn.org)  The fund advisor works closely with the Government of Mexico (CONANP) and Island Conservation (the local NGO) to provide backstop funding to support the management plan for the Island.  The main focus of the fund is to help save, protect and study the endangered population of 105 great white sharks that frequent Guadalupe Island. These magnificent, awesome and beautiful animals are under heavy threat and it is forseesable that they may be fished out in the near future - especially considering that just the jaw of 1 great white shark can fetch over $15,000.

Guests on the Nautilus Explorer in our 2007 season were very generous with their support with over $32,000 in donations to this fund.

Islas Revillagigedos (Socorro Island) aerial surveillance program. While this program is still in the planning stages, we are hoping to borrow, beg or lease a twin-engine Piper Aerostar aircraft that could be used to implement a random schedule of 70 - 90 patrols each year of San Benedicto, Socorro, Roca Partida and Clarion Islands. The thinking behind this plan is to identify and photograph any vessels fishing illegally in this protected Biosphere Reserve and have onboard observers swear out acta's describing the ships. This is a vast marine reserve and a resource like this could make a big difference in catching the illegal fishboats. The Mexican Navy does a great job of enforcement and has already shown that they will act on acta's that are presented to them. Major funding will be required to cover the variable costs of the aerial operation - likely $2500 per 800 mile patrol. But just imagine what it would be like if the shark, fish and manta populations in the Revillagigedos rebounded because the fishermen stayed out of the Reserve!

Education. Our goal is simple. We want kids to think that sharks are as cool as dinosaurs. Except that sharks aren't extinct! We encourage interested educators, artists and other folks who work with kids to contact us for more information.

To make a tax deductable donation, for information on these programs, or to discuss other ideas, please email mike@nautilusexplorer.com or call our office at 604-657-7614.  We welcome any and every donation  -  no matter how large or small.