Jarrín: “International fishing fleet does not abide by, and breaks all, regulations on the high seas”

Oswaldo Jarrín: International fishing fleet does not abide by, and breaks all, regulations on the high seas

Defense Minister Oswaldo Jarrín assured that the international fishing fleet that borders the Galapagos Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) every year is not subject to, and violates all existing, regulations on the high seas.

This morning, during an appearance at the Commission on Sovereignty and International Relations, Jarrín explained that this fleet is not subject to the International Tropical Tuna Convention (IATTC), nor to regional fisheries management organizations (RFOs).

Nor to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with regard to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU fishing) or to the Permanent Commission of the South Pacific (CPPS), or to any body which regulates fishing on the high seas.

Minutes before, Assemblyman César Rohon (PSC), expressed a sentiment in the same vein. The fact that this foreign fleet is not on the list of any regional fishing organization is a serious problem. If this is the first offense, the fleet cannot fish freely in the Ocean Eastern Pacific Ocean, whose fishing is regulated by the IATTC; if it is a second offense, the fleet is prohibited from transshipments, they must have fishery observers and they have to comply with closed periods and conservation of resources, among other terms.

“Everyone bumps the Galapagos’ chest and slaps the backs of Galapagos and Ecuador, but the International Community is not committed to Galapagos (…) We must sue China for illegal fishing, for all these protocols that it does not comply with worldwide. The Chinese fleet cannot run loose in the world, doing what it wants, “said Rhon.

The assemblyman added that vessels with longlines catch all species from the high seas, not just some; this is especially true near the Humboldt current and that long-lining is illegal. Jarrín pointed out that the longline vessels come from China, Korea, Japan, and Taipei.

Meanwhile, Norma Wray, head of the Governing Council of the Galapagos Special Regime, reported on all the actions that Ecuador has taken to protect the marine resources that surround Galágapos, including: participation in the Climate Change Summit in Madrid at the end of 2019. At the summit, a need was exposed – Ecuador needed to study and analyze the possibilities of a Marine Reserve expansion towards the EEZ versus the creation of  marine area adjacent to the EEZ that preserves the economic interests of Ecuador and simultaneously protests the endemic fauna in Galapagos and migratory species

He also mentioned that Ecuador has joined the Global Ocean Alliance, a space to promote the protection of marine spaces, and added that there are conversations between government authorities of Ecuador and Costa Rica regarding the need to find ways to protect corridors so that are absolutely regulated.

Regarding monitoring and control, Jarrín added that the budget for the construction of a multipurpose vessel is approved, and that the approval of the Navigation Law to strengthen control at sea and that the San Cristóbal Airport is required to operate 24 hours a day, as compared to the current 8 hours of daily operation.


Informing and sharing news on marine life, flora, fauna and conservation in the Galápagos Islands since 2017
© SOS Galápagos, 2020

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