Five fishing unions oppose the expansion of the Galapagos Marine Reserve

Five fishing unions oppose the expansion of the Galapagos Marine Reserve

Five fishing unions on Thursday showed their opposition to the expansion of the Galapagos Marine Reserve. This extension is proposed by environmental groups and a project that is being processed in the National Assembly.

Rafael Trujillo, director of the National Chamber of Fisheries, indicated that this measure does not solve the problem of the Chinese fleet, which fishes in an area near the Galapagos. “On the contrary, it would harm the national sector and the thousands of jobs,” he said.

Environmental groups propose expanding the reserve as one of the “options” to increase the protection of species in the archipelago and reduce the impact caused by the presence of the Chinese fleet near the Galapagos area.

Representatives of the artisanal fishing sector indicated that expanding the miles of the reserve will affect fishermen from the areas of Santa Elena and Manabí who fish near the Galapagos.

“When the reserve is extended, what will happen to our people? This will cause less work, “said Gabriela Cruz, president of the National Federation of Fishing Cooperatives of Ecuador.

Other union members considered that if Ecuador now has difficulties to control 40 miles, it will be more complex, without resources, to control a larger area.

“The problem in Galapagos is not fishing, there are more than 300,000 tourists who enter, they are shooting where the problem is not,” said Luigi Benincasa, head of the Ecuadorian Tuna Boat Association.

Squid fishing proposal

Faced with the proposal made by Foreign Minister Luis Gallegos regarding fishing giant squid to sell to the Chinese, the members indicated that it is not a matter that can be done in the short term.

Trujillo indicated that to catch giant squid a specific fleet needs to be developed. “It cannot be done overnight, worse in a country where there are no financing conditions. The ships cost millions of dollars and must be amortized over 15 years, at reasonable rates, “said Trujillo.

Foreign Minister Gallegos assured days ago that the Chinese fleet that was close to Galapagos was fishing for giant squid and that this could be an option for the local fishing industry.

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

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