4Pelagatas, “Red-Handed: Ecuadorian Ships in Contact with the Chinese Fleet”


“Red-handed: Ecuadorian ships in contact with the Chinese fleet”

Posted on July 29, 2020 in Conexionces4P/ Elenfoque by Martín Pallares

At least six Ecuadorian-flagged vessels apparently had some form of contact with the Chinese fishing fleet on Tuesday, July 29, at the limits of the territorial waters of the Galapagos Islands. These are the José Armando, Don Bartolo, Victoria, Lizi, Sea Ranger 1 and Sansun Ranger ships, which are mostly registered in the port of Manta.

The incident was captured by a person who asked to keep his name in reserve and who used an application to locate boats and identify them by name and flag. The application is called Marine Traffic and can be installed on a smartphone. It is a technology similar to that used to identify aircraft.

In the images collected by the application, it is seen that these ships were heading towards or moving away from the Chinese fleet. The 4P source, which released the images, says that it is not possible to know exactly what kind of exchange these ships had with the Chinese vessels. The source rules out that it is fuel, because today he saw a boat, with the flag of Liberia, that fueled in Panama and took it to where the Chinese fishing boats are.

The data confirms something that has been said insistently: that the Chinese fishing fleet made up of hundreds of boats that fish in the waters surrounding the Galapagos supply themselves with products from which Ecuadorian boats supply them, when the fleet is near the coasts. from continental Ecuador or the Galapagos. It could also be that Ecuadorian ships are buying fish caught by the Chinese, the source said.

According to a statement to the German agency Deutsche Welle, the director of the NGO Conservation International Ecuador, Luis Suárez, this is the fourth consecutive year that the approach of the Chinese fleet has been detected. “They are fishing in that area, which is extraordinarily rich due to the confluence of marine currents.”

Suarez said that despite the fact that they are only supposed to fish for squid, in 2017 a Chinese freighter was captured within the Galapagos maritime protection zone, and in its holds “7,200 sharks were found, including some endangered species, such as the hammerhead shark and silky shark. ” In addition to marine predation in an area that is rich but is supposedly under conservation, there is the problem of pollution, as the huge Chinese fleet produces huge amounts of waste that dump the sea and harm the environment.

The images that 4P had access to also show how close the Chinese fishing fleet is to Ecuador’s territorial waters. In one image it is seen that it is almost 200 nautical miles from the Galapagos, that is, within the limits allowed by international conventions.

Read the whole article at: bit.ly/ecuadorships

Are you familiar with any of these vessels? Are they really Ecuadorian ships, or has someone else registered them in Ecuador?

What Now?

A June 2020 report from ODI states that Chinese distant-water fishing (DWF) vessels practice reflagging, where vessels are registered in other countries. Almost 1,000 Chinese DWF vessels are known to be registered in other countries & flying under flags other than China.

Regardless of whether the ships are truly operated by Ecuadorians, the Ecuadorian government must act and investigate these vessels registered in Ecuador immediately as this is their jurisdiction.

Informing and sharing news on marine life, flora, fauna and conservation in the Galápagos Islands since 2017
© SOS Galápagos, 2021

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