Ecuadorean judge sentences crew for fishing off the Galapagos
admin • August 29, 2017 • 3674
Twenty Chinese citizens have been ordered to pay $5.9 million dollars in damages and jail term of up to four years for fishing in the Galapagos Islands marine reserve.
The vessel, which was seized mid-month with about 300 tons of threatened and endangered species, is part of a fleet of Chinese vessels that remain in the vicinity of the Galapagos Islands, threatening its fragile ecosystem.
Ecuador’s environment ministry said the ruling marks a “precedent in environmental legal matters, at the country level and in the region.”
“Tonight, on Sunday, August 27, 2017, this represents a historic milestone. A small country like Ecuador has just won a sentence over a transnational (vessel) that traveled through our oceans. A juridical milestone has been created, a precedent has been created for the environment. A path that can be followed in justice for migratory species has been marked for the whole world,” said Galapagos National Park Director Walter Bustos.
The Galapagos Islands are home to a large variety of turtles, together with flamingos, albatrosses, and cormorants.
There is also a wealth of flora and fauna.
The archipelago was declared natural heritage of humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). —Tito Paz | UNTV News & Rescue
Ecuador said on Monday (July 28) that it will take diplomatic steps to protect the Galapagos Islands from the threat of a fleet of fishing vessels, mostly Chinese flagged, there were spotted near the archipelago.
The Ecuadorean Navy last week identified some 260 boats in the vicinity of the exclusive economic zone of the Galapagos Islands, which raised the alert of the authorities of the Andean country.
Ecuador will raise the issue at a meeting of delegates from the Latin American countries for a common strategy to protect the marine fauna of the region, said Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Luis Gallegos.
Ecuador acknowledges the fishing fleet that was spotted had not yet entered the exclusive economic zone of the islands but it is seeking international consensus on preventing activity near the Galapagos that could affect its delicate ecosystem.
In 2017, a Chinese vessel was captured in the Galapagos Marine Reserve with 300 tonnes of species.
The Galapagos Islands is famous for inspiring British scientist Charles Darwin’s theory of the evolution of species in the 19th century, there is a wide variety of turtles, flamingos, boobies, albatrosses and cormorants. There is also a great wealth of marine flora and fauna. (Reuters)
Some 15 giant tortoises who lived in captivity for decades were released into the wild of the Galapagos Islands on Monday (June 15) after their species was rescued from the brink of extinction.
According to Galapagos National Park Director Danny Rueda, the species’ repopulation program has been a resounding success and will be concluded with the release of the 15 specimens on Espanola Island.
One of the newly-freed tortoises is “Diego” a male who is likely around 100-years-old and is renowned for his fertility and has some 800 descendants.
Diego returned to Espanola 80 years after being taken from his birth site. He was residing in the San Diego zoo in 1976 when he was brought back to Ecuador to become a member of his species’ repopulation program.
Diego and the other tortoises were taken by boat to Espanola Island after spending time in quarantine and then strapped on to the backs of park rangers who took them into the island’s interior where there are a higher variety of plants and cactus for them to feed on.
The Galapagos Giant Tortoise, which can live to be 200-years-old, was one of the species that helped Charles Darwin formulate his theory of evolution in the 19th Century. In 1978, UNESCO declared the islands where they live a World Heritage Site. (Reuters)
As the death toll from victims of the coronavirus mounts, Ecuador is struggling to deal with various aspects of the health emergency, including where to put the deceased.
On Wednesday (April 01) Ecuador reported 450 new cases of the coronavirus bringing its total to 2,758 people of which 98 have died. Another 76 deaths are under investigation as possibly related to COVID-19.
The deaths have put a strain on hospitals as well as on morgues, funeral homes and cemeteries. To deal with the increased number of deaths, temporary morgues were installed outside a hospital in Guayaquil Wednesday.
Jorge Wated, the government official appointed by the president to deal with the disposal of the dead during the coronavirus crisis, said that 2,500 to 3,500 were expected to die from COVID-19 in the province of Guayas alone, where Guayaquil, the nation’s second-largest city is located. (Reuters)
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