SALAS Y GÓMEZ AND NAZCA RIDGES
The Salas y Gómez and Nazca ridges are sequential chains of submarine mountains of volcanic origin located in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, jointly encompassing an area of more than 2,900 km. Currently, the 22 explored seamounts that make up the ridges are home to more than 200 species of invertebrates and more than 170 species of fish, making the area a biodiversity hotspot with one of the highest levels of marine biological endemism (species found only in this location). Unfortunately, scientists have discovered many sharks in these waters with hooks caught in their mouths – a sign of a deep illegal fishing problem in the area. These waters require an establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs) throughout the region to create no-take zones, ensuring protection from harmful fishing practices for generations to come.