The alert was issued on June 29, 2021. It was made by the Más Galápagos initiative, dedicated to the protection and conservation of the archipelago’s marine reserve.
“Alert, the first Chinese industrial fishing vessel named Shun Xing 18 is installed south of the Galapagos. We ask for concrete actions to guarantee that they do not enter the insular exclusive economic zone,” they reported through their Twitter account. In the message they mentioned President Guillermo Lasso.
Eliecer Cruz, spokesperson for Más Galapagos, reported that the monitoring of the fleet was carried out thanks to Global Fish Watch. The vessels are still in international waters.
“The bulk of the fleet is about 400 kilometers west of the archipelago, which is still quite far away, but this fleet operates by sending one or two ships forward; once they find the squid shoals, they call the rest and the whole fleet comes over.”
Cruz recalled that in 2020, the presence of a fleet with up to 300 vessels was reported; for this reason he asks the Foreign Ministry and the National Navy to undertake prevention work to prevent the fleet from entering the special economic zone.
In June of last year, more than 300 boats arrived at the limits of the exclusive [marine economic] areas of Galapagos and the continent. They remained located in the international waters [between the two zones] and fished for several weeks.
“The authorities have difficult work; we are going to continue monitoring the route of these boats,” warned Cruz.
The Ecuadorian Minister of the Environment, Gustavo Manrique, informed this newspaper that the fleet is international and not from a specific country; he also reported that it remains outside the 200 miles of Ecuadorian waters. “It does not enter our territory.”
“We have been working from day one with the Ministry of Defense, with the Ministry of Communication, Foreign Ministry, Ministry of Production in monitoring, with satellite tools including air issues, which guarantee that these ships will not enter territory Ecuadorian”.
Manrique affirmed that so far there is no transgression in the economic zone and that, if there are any, there will be the corresponding sanctions.
“We have the protocols, the fast displacement boats; we have an agreement with the Government of Canada, which is to find when they want to turn off the navigation equipment so that they are outside monitoring control. This was acquired a month ago, so that everything is under control so that those boats do not enter.”
Read the original coverage from El Comercio at https://www.elcomercio.com/actualidad/conservacion-galapagos-flota-pesca-china.html
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