In the Galápagos Islands
A study developed by Frank Bungartz , renowned lichenologist at Arizona State University and associate researcher with the National Institute of Biodiversity (Inabio) of Ecuador, determined 34 species of lichens of the genera Lecanora, Protoparmeliopsis and Vainionora as part of the Galapagos inventory. (Photo Courtesy: Inabio)
Research indicates that of the 34 species, 14 are new to science : Lecanora atroocellata, L. cactacea, L. cerebriformis, L. cerebrosorediata, L. confusoides, L. darwiniana, L. kalbii, L. malagae, L. ombligulata , L. pyrrhosporoides, L. subaureoides, L. terpenoidea, Protoparmeliopsis ertzii and Vainionora nugrae.
A tanker vessel rescued of 18 Ecuadorians after their 72-foot commercial fishing vessel sank Friday approximately 350 miles north of the Galapagos Islands, the U.S. Coast Guard said. The Hai Soon 26 crew arrived on scene at 12:26 p.m. and retrieved the 18 Ecuadorian nationals, five people from a life raft and 12 people from the sinking fishing boat. No medical concerns were reported.
The recent confirmation that the whale shark, the largest fish in the ocean, uses an underwater route between the Galapagos National Park, in Ecuador, and the Isla del Coco National Park, in Costa Rica, reinforces the request of conservation groups to expand the marine protected area between the two countries to ensure that threatened migratory species can travel without being victims of fishing.
The Andean Parliament approved a protocol that has 55 pages and includes national and regional regulations to fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and to promote sustainable fishing in Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Chile.
Artisanal fishing, like industry, puts pressure on marine resources. Photo: Courtesy Fernando Félix
Join us in calling on Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno to consider his legacy and expand the Galápagos Marine Reserve. For Galápagos. For Ecuador. For all of us.
There has never been a better opportunity to expand the Galápagos Marine Reserve than now. Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno’s term in office will conclude in May 2021. Before his term ends, he has one final opportunity to leave a remarkable legacy for Ecuadorians—and for the world—by expanding the Galápagos Marine Reserve. This will safeguard vulnerable marine species that depend on the Reserve, ensure food security for local communities, and help Ecuador achieve its recent commitment to protect at least 30% of its marine areas by 2030.
This is why SeaLegacy, Only One, The Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Program, MasGalapagos, Migramar, Mission Blue, Pacífico Libre, Tropical Herping, The Leatherback Project, Mare Nostrum, and a coalition of various other Ecuadorian and international organizations, scientists, and members of local communities, are calling for urgent action, and we need your help.
“The World Trade Organization announced it will miss a 2020 deadline to secure an agreement prohibiting subsidies that threaten the sustainability of global fishing, as countries including China and India hold out for an exemption.”
“As part of a UN Sustainable Development Goal target, negotiators were tasked with eliminating subsidies for illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and prohibiting certain subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing. Talks have also been held up by Covid-19 restrictions on meetings and the change in the U.S. administration. Globally, such subsidies amount to an estimated $14-$54 billion per year, according to the WTO.”
A Chinese fishing vessel and its 28 crew have been detained in Palau, authorities said, creating a delicate diplomatic situation for the tiny Pacific nation, which is allied with Beijing’s rival Taiwan.The boat, alleged to have been illegally harvesting sea cucumber, was intercepted by a patrol boat at Helen Reef, in Palau’s territorial waters, and escorted to the main island of Koror.
“They did have sea cucumber on there … it’s estimated about 500 pounds (225kg),” said Victor Remengesau, director of Palau’s division of marine law and enforcement.
Sea cucumber – known on international markets as beche-de-mer – is a lucrative harvest for fishing crews across the Pacific. A Samoan court heard this year the animals fetch up to US$800 a kilogram in Asian markets, citing a Pacific Community report.
Chinese fishing fleets have been venturing further, and for longer, into the Pacific in search of new fishing grounds in recent months and years. But this is the first time a Chinese crew has been intercepted and detained in Palau’s territorial waters.
A Chinese distant-water fishing firm has signed an agreement to build a fisheries base in Ecuador, despite tensions between the two countries this summer after a Chinese squid fleet encroached on the country’s waters. China Ocean Group Development Co. has signed a memorandum of understanding with Mercado Común Del Sur (Mercosur) to build a pelagic fishery base in Ecuador. China Ocean Development Group Chairman Liu Rongsheng was joined by a number of other corporate executives, government officials, researchers, and retired diplomats at the official signing ceremony at the Sheraton hotel in Shenzhen.
Also present was Paul Penaherrera, Ecuador’s commercial counselor in Guangzhou, who also heads the local office of export promotion agency Pro Ecuador, as well as executives from the China Distant-Water Fishing Association, whose members include some of the fishing companies operate squid-fishing vessels in the Southern Atlantic. Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno protested their actions this summer, when a fleet of some 260 fishing ships, most Chinese-flagged, spent around a month fishing in international waters just outside a 188-mile wide exclusive economic zone around Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands.
The heads of two Chinese state-run think tanks, the Belt and Road International Cooperation Development (Shenzhen) Research Institute and the China World Trade Research Institute – operated through China’s Commerce Ministry – also attended the signing. Another attendee at the signing ceremony was Liang Haishan, secretary general of the Chinese-run organization Alliance Mercosur Camara Internacional. Two other Chinese business clubs were also represented: the Global CEO Club and the Global Investment Group.
“Save the Galapagos Islands ” is a campaign that is underway to promote the economy of the archipelago, uniting the community, taking care of the environment and prioritizing public health, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
It is an initiative of the Governing Council for the Special Regime of Galapagos, the United Nations Development Program in Latin America (UNDP) and the San Francisco de Quito University. The first of its three phases is already underway. It consists of giving financial support to about 90 people who are local guides of the Galapagos National Park. It is expected that this stage will be extended until next January, classified as urgent, and in which the Galapagos Conservation Trust collaborates.
Experts from the Charles Darwin Foundation told Efe this Friday that they hope to break the record for the count of birds in the Ecuadorian archipelago of Galapagos, which has taken place every December for five years and that in 2019 ended with 622 records. Every December, the Charles Darwin Foundation, in collaboration with other institutions, leads the “Christmas Bird Count”, an activity that began more than 100 years ago in the US, and which is now carried out in many countries around the world. . The Foundation and the Directorate of the Galapagos National Park with its project for the Conservation of Land Birds of Galapagos, joined this initiative five years ago in order to involve the Galapagos community to assess the status of land birds.
Informing and sharing news on marine life, flora, fauna and conservation in the Galápagos Islands since 2017
© SOS Galápagos, 2021