“Proposal for a new protected area in Galapagos worries industrialists”

The industrial fishing sector indicates that current controls should be strengthened and improved, especially to control the work of Chinese vessels. Archive

Proposal for a new protected area in Galapagos worries industrialists

January 17, 2021 – 06h00

As a proposal without “analysis or debate” the industrial fishing sector of Ecuador qualifies the initiative to create a new protected area in Galapagos presented days ago by environmental organizations.

Bruno Leone, president of the National Chamber of Fisheries (CNP), affirms that in the three meetings that they have held with the groups that seek to increase the protection of the marine reserve and authorities of the archipelago, this project was not discussed.

He says that in these “round tables” the industrial sector presented data and technical studies on the management and regulations of tuna fishing, but that the groups asked for time to present their scientific analyzes.

“On December 21 we were informed that Eliecer Cruz (from the Más Galapagos collective) and his team were fine-tuning details of form, and not substance, of their studies and that as soon as they finished it they were going to send it to us for analysis and then we would meet. even with people from the San Francisco de Quito University (USFQ), who supported the research, but it was not like that,” indicates Leone.

The executive adds that they later found out about the proposal through a report published by EL UNIVERSO on January 6: “They made a proposal public without having discussed it with us at the dialogue table we attended.” This prompted the CNP to send a letter to President Lenín Moreno showing its disagreement with the proposal.

A new marine reserve and several fishing management areas are part of the proposal of environmental groups to increase the protection of Galapagos.

“We also told (Moreno) that it did not seem correct for an entity like the USFQ to issue a comment without being an interested or authorized party and that it is taking such initiatives (protected area and new fishing guidelines) as a fact without even have discussed it. Here what we see is a scheme that is being imposed and that will be detrimental to the formal and regulated fishing of Ecuador. There is a bias, ”says Leone.

The endorsement or completion of the studies, according to the executive, must be done by the competent authorities, in this case, the Ministry of Foreign Trade, Aquaculture and Fisheries, or in turn the Public Institute for Aquaculture and Fisheries Research (Ipiap).

The extension of the new proposed protected area (445,943 kilometers) also worries the industrial sector since they consider it “not adequate”.

Leone says that they are willing to analyze the proposal in an open and technical way, but not with “double agendas or hidden proposals.” He although he affirms that the study has not been carried out with “technical support”.

Another criticism is that when creating a protected area, more resources will be needed for its monitoring, but that “they cannot control what we currently have, worse if they create more areas.” For the CNP, the controls that are being carried out at the moment must be reinforced, especially when the fleet of Chinese ships “reaches the border with Galapagos again.”

In fact, the Defense Ministry warned that Chinese vessels are already heading to the archipelago’s border.


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

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