Jack Grove, Zegrahm cofounder and renowned marine biologist, recently reached out to us about the 20th anniversary of his book, The Fishes of the Galápagos Islands. Read on to find out more about his passion for the archipelago, and the different jobs he took aboard the Bucanero, while he lived, explored, and discovered in the Islands.
2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the publication of The Fishes of the Galápagos Islands. To acquire the information, specimens, and photographs required to compile such a comprehensive text, I moved to the Islands in 1977. For the next seven years, my duties were multifaceted—I was employed as a naturalist and divemaster aboard the ship, Bucanero ; with support from the Ecuadorian Government, I served in Guayaquíl as the Associate Investigator for the Instituto Nacional de Pesca (National Fisheries Institute); and I also served as a naturalist for the Galápagos National Park Service. In 1982, Dr. Robert Lavenberg, senior ichthyologist at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, signed on as coauthor.
During the decades since the publication, I have been witness to much change in the seas surrounding this iconic, volcanic archipelago. The number of annual visitors to the Islands has gone from around 20,000 in the early 1970s, to over 200,000 last year. The increase in the number of residents has also grown exponentially, to more than 30,000. A number of marine species are now overfished and the demand for shark fins continues to threaten resident and migratory populations. In spite of growing demands for protein from the sea, the Galápagos National Park Service and the Charles Darwin Research Station have done an extraordinary job of preserving the integrity of both terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
Because of Zegrahm Expeditions, I have been able to guide literally thousands of travelers to the Islands, sharing my passion for natural history and marine life. Snorkeling is offered as often as possible—it is immense fun to call out fish names in the midst of cavorting sea lions, sea turtles, and penguins—but I also love being onshore, leading hikes and nature walks. Today, there are many companies taking visitors to these fabled islands that Darwin referred to as, “A living laboratory of evolution;” but those who have experienced the islands with Zegrahm, will argue that we offer the most educational, enriching adventure possible.
Come join me for an experience of a lifetime.