Ecuador has made a marine sanctuary for sharks between the Galápagos Islands of Darwin and Wolf, to protect the world’s largest concentration of sharks. To conserve the sharks’ environment, authorities will ban fishing within the 15,000 square miles of water around the Galápagos Islands.

The sanctuary is believed to be the size of Belgium, where 32% of the waters around Galápagos will be strictly prohibited from fishing and other industrial activities. It will be subsumed into an 80,000-square mile marine reserve, created in 1998, reports The Guardian.

The revelation of the sanctuary came during an event headed by President Rafael Correa. Enric Sala, a Spanish National Geographic scientist and Miguel Bose, Spanish singer-songwriter, participated in the event, reports La Prensa.

“Ecuador has shown tremendous leadership by protecting one of the most globally valuable places in the ocean,” said Enric Sala, a National Geographic explorer-in-residence.

“The establishment of this marine sanctuary represents a major breakthrough, not least because it hosts the largest biomass of sharks in the world, which is an indicator of the pristine condition of the site, as well as the importance of conservation,” said Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa.

IBT reports that there are more than 34 species of sharks in the Galapagos. The species includes the Galápagos shark, the migratory hammerhead shark and filter-feeding whale shark.

Shark population has dwindled in past years. Around 100 million sharks are killed every year. Ecuador is positive that the new initiative which it started will help conserve the shiver of sharks in the area. With cold and warm ocean currents, Galápagos is one of most biodiverse place for 3000 species of marine mammals, seabirds, fishes and invertebrates.

“These pristine waters around the Galápagos archipelago are precious not just for Ecuadorians but for the whole balance of our ocean systems. Shark populations in steep decline around the world come here to rest and breed and we want to guarantee complete sanctuary for them,” said Daniel Ortega Pacheco, the nation’s environment minister.