September 21, 2020 – 12:32 pm
The fleet of 340 foreign vessels, mostly under the Chinese flag, which was on the border of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of mainland Ecuador and the insular EEZ moved to Peru. This was confirmed by the Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Luis Gallegos to the EFE news agency.
“They are in front of Peru. The fleet moved, for the most part, to the north of Peru” and no ship entered Ecuadorian waters, as it did in 2017, Gallegos said.
More than a month ago, Ecuador and China began negotiations to seek not only for the expansion of the fishing moratorium stage that Beijing announced from September to November and that the Ecuadorian Government requests that it be from June, but also to establish the protocol for boarding and inspection.
“China has been a very positive reaction in this regard because it has reiterated to us that if, in any case, we find a ship from this fleet that has violated any international regulation, Chinese tolerance will be zero,” Gallegos said.
The presence of the fleet on the border of the Ecuadorian maritime border caused the rejection of both national and international environmental organizations. In addition, activists held several sit-ins nationwide.
The boats were initially believed to be “longliners”, later it was confirmed that they were fishing for squid. The Armed Forces of Ecuador affirmed that the vessels did not cross into Ecuadorian space.
Several of these boats have falsely reported their location within New Zealand waters while fishing near Ecuadorian territory, according to the New Zealand media http://www.stuff.co.nz.
The outlet claimed that six vessels in the fleet transmitted false information via their Automatic Identification System transponders, making them appear to be fishing in New Zealand waters.
The international organization Oceana analyzed the data of the vessel fleet from July 13 to August 13, 2020 and documented that the vessels fished mainly squid. More than 73,000 total hours of fishing were recorded.
“99% of the visible fishing activity off the Galapagos Islands during this one-month period was carried out by Chinese flag vessels,” the organization noted.
In addition, she warned that the excessive capture of squid can affect the diet of iconic Galapagos species such as fur seals and hammerhead sharks, as well as for many commercial and recreational species.
Read the entire coverage at bit.ly/0921universo or at https://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/2020/09/21/nota/7985503/flota-china-pesquera-ilegal-galapagos-ecuador-peru
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