The Coiba National Park and its Special Zone of Marine Protection site in Panama was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2005. The site, protected from the cold winds and effects of El Nino, provides a key ecological link to the Tropical Eastern Pacific for the transit and survival of pelagic fish and marine mammals. The varied marine environments within the park provide habitat and resources for diverse marine life: nearly 800 species of fish, including 33 species of sharks, and 20 species of cetaceans. Pictured here is a school of blue-striped snapper, Lutjanus kasmira.
Today, over 40 World Heritage sites are listed for their marine values. Together, they can be considered the "Crown Jewels of our Ocean" and are recognized for their outstanding beauty, exceptional biodiversity, or unique ecological, biological, or geological processes. Learn more about this and other marine World Heritage sites.