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Ecuador News

China warned about illegal fishing in Galapagos protected waters as investigation continues

China’s ambassador to Ecuador was called to the foreign ministry Friday and given a formal warning about its fishing vessels encroaching on the Galapagos Islands International Preserve. A fishing ship with 300 tons of catch onboard was taken into custody Monday and remains in port as an investigation continues.

An investigator checks illegal Galapagos catch.

Foreign Minister María Fernanda Espinosa and other Ecuadorian officials reviewed the special protections of the Galapagos preserve with Ambassador Yang Yulin. “I reminded the ambassador of the special status of the Galapogos preserve and that it is protected under international rules established by the United Nations,” Espinosa said following the meeting. “Unfortunately, many of the fish discovered on the Chinese-flagged vessel currently in custody were protected species, especially the sharks, and they were taken illegally.”

The Chinese fishing ship Fu Yuan Yu Leng remains in Ecuadorian custody as investigators continue to examine the catch and interview the captain and crew. The Chinese government has requested that the ship be released but Ecuador says it has not made a final decision about its status.

The incident has prompted more reconnaissance measures by the Ecuadorian navy to monitor Galapagos waters. “The size of the operation on the Chinese ship is especially alarming,” says Walter Bustos, Galapogos National Park director. “We have found tons of sharks that are considered endangered species in the ship’s holds and they appear to have been taken primarily for their fins, which is an illegal practice not only here but in most national waters. Obviously, we need to increase our vigilance to stop the encroachment.”

According to Bustos, 18 fishing ships have been caught and detained in the Galapogos preserve since 2014. “Many vessels fish just outside of the preserve but they respect our special protection zone,” he said. “The current case is an especially bad exception.”

Under rules of the preserve, only fishermen who are legal residents of the Galapagos are allowed to fish in the area.

8 thoughts on “China warned about illegal fishing in Galapagos protected waters as investigation continues

  1. Oh, hell, what’s 300 tons of food between friends? (Throw another stick of dynamite in the water, Mao!)

  2. Chinese dont respect any laws that go against what they belive is theirs. They should be fined heavily, but Correas onscene debt bc of oil has made them cocky and above the law…The authorities better hit and hit hard! Or they will continue to think allEcuador is ‘theirs’…by proxy and bad debts!

    1. Hmmm that is a common idea, Could say the same if the USA. Yet, they are ahead of the USA in alternative energy job creation and support the Paris climate agreement. They, also, had to step in to deescslete trump and Uns rhetoric in North Korea…. voice of morality ! Why equate this with China as a whole……was it a ‘state’ ship or an individual enterprise…..

      1. La protección del medio ambiente del gobierno chino sólo puede permanecer en la boca, la desesperación ambiental de China, la principal contaminación de las empresas estatales, pero no para proteger el medio ambiente y cerrar la fábrica! Porque el Partido Comunista sólo mira el dinero!

    2. Como un chino primero me disculpo! Y tengo que explicar que las aletas de tiburón en China son tablas oficiales necesarias, a fin de resaltar el estatus de honor, y el gobierno chino es corrupto terrible. La esperanza puede ser severamente castigado con el fin de jugar un efecto de advertencia!

  3. ¡Pido pesca ilegal seria! ¡Y pide disculpas al gobierno ecuatoriano! Yo soy pueblo muy chino tan muy claro que sus métodos de pesca no son ni siquiera fry, graves daños a la ecología! Las aguas costeras de China se han secado, se fueron al mundo para robar recursos, es para satisfacer el apetito de los funcionarios del gobierno.

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