July 29, 2020 – 06h00
Expanding the Galapagos Marine Reserve (RMG), which is currently 40 miles, would be one of the “options” to increase the protection of species in the archipelago, say groups such as the National Animal Movement or the Pacific Whale Foundation.
Even the governor of the islands, Norman Wray, has supported this proposal. In fact, there is already a project in the National Assembly to address this increase.
Although the expansion of the RMG would not have the influence to stop or neutralize fleets like the Chinese, it would have the advantage of establishing a conservation and surveillance corridor between the Galapagos, Gorgona and Malpelo (Colombia), Coiba (Panama) and Cocos (Costa Rica).
These trans-boundary biological corridors are used by migratory species and are intended to contribute to the conservation of all threatened species. There would also be the option of creating a protected area within the Exclusive Economic Zone.
However, unions such as the National Fisheries Chamber oppose these suggestions. They claim that reducing the slaughter area of Ecuadorian vessels would create a great impact on the economy of this sector and on the country’s currency. In addition, they have stated, on several occasions, that the expansion of the RMG lacks technical studies to justify it.
Another of the suggestions given by environmentalists is that Ecuador promote and sign the Global Ocean Alliance “to have better coverage and protection of the ocean against predators and climate change.”
“We must complete the studies for the connection of submarine and continental platforms and connect with the Costa Rican platform to generate a protection path for the migration route of the species to the island of Cocos,” says Wray.
The official assures that this is not an environmental “position”: “Galapagos leads a position of marine protection so that the reproduction of life can be achieved. That is why the Treaty of the High Seas must be signed to protect and manage fisheries ”.
Even if it has dealt with or expansions, providing the Armed Forces with resources, personnel and technology so that they can improve maritime controls should also be a priority for the governments of the day, says Raúl Hidalgo, captain of the navy in passive service.
Check out our interactive timeline and review new updates, videos, research findings and updates from the Galapagos Islands in 2020
Want to learn more about the foreign distant-water fishing fleet near the outskirts of Ecuador’s Insular EEZ, which surround the Galápagos Marine Reserve?
Informing and sharing news on marine life, flora, fauna and conservation in the Galápagos Islands since 2017
© SOS Galápagos, 2021