Bocas del Toro: Hope Spot

How Bocas Del Toro becoming a Hope Spot was the beginning of Ankay Conservation.

Mission Blue, organization that inspires action to explore and protect the ocean, led by Dr. Sylvia Earle, is uniting a global coalition to inspire public awareness, access and support for a worldwide network of marine protected areas called Hope Spots. Bocas del Toro was declared Hope Spot in December 2019.

The Bocas del Toro archipelago is home to countless important marine organisms including endangered sea turtles, bottlenose dolphins, over 120 species of sponge, three different species of mangroves and a diverse array of Caribbean coral species.

Due to increasing human activity within the archipelago, many species that are already threatened or vulnerable, such as leatherback turtles and Acropora coral species, remain in a fragile predicament.

Bocas del Toro is facing many threats, such as higher levels of nutrients, increased water temperatures, high levels of sediment in the water, and overfishing.

Thus, Ankay Conservation is born. Through a volunteer-based scientific diving program, Ankay Conservation is focused on collecting data of local dive spots to monitor the reefs health and resilience. These actions strive to detect changes in abundance, observe coral diseases and determine if specific management actions are either working or should be implemented.

Ankay Conservation’s ecological monitoring program has been developed to be able to provide broad understanding of the regional health and abundance of the reef ecosystems, as well as create data sets for individual dive sites, across individual depth and species level.

We want our volunteers to have the full Ankay experience by becoming knowledgeable on how these ecosystems work, the species present and how we can protect them.

Whether you are an experienced diver or have never dived before, our diving and ecological monitoring program will open up your mind to the underwater world like never before. Join us in our mission.