Chinese vessel captured in Galapagos with threatened shark species
2017-08-31 19:26:35   copyfrom:    hits:

Chinese vessel with fish and threatened species from the Galapagos Marine Reserve (Photo: Ministerio del Ambiente

Chinese vessel with fish and threatened species from the Galapagos Marine Reserve. (Photo: Ministerio del Ambiente Ecuador)


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Tuesday, August 15, 2017, 21:40 (GMT + 9)


A Chinese flagged vessel with some 300 tonnes of fish, including at least two shark species considered vulnerable by Ecuadorian authorities, was detained in the Galapagos Islands marine reserve.

The operation was joined by the conservation officers of the Galapagos National Park Management (DPNG), who alerted the Navy of Ecuador on the location of the boat, through the boat monitoring system.

The DPNG, under the Ministry of the Environment, reported that the Fu Yuan Yu Leng 999 boat was intercepted and detained near midnight on Sunday, when it was illegally sailing within the Galapagos Marine Reserve, at 34.5 nautical miles east of San Cristobal Island.

The vessel, with 20 crew members, carried species of marine fauna that were vulnerable and protected by the Ecuadorian State, such as hammerhead sharks (in danger of extinction) and silky (minor concern).

The vessel, its crew and its capture were placed under the orders of the Galapagos authorities, whose waters account for the largest number of sharks reported in the world.

"It would be the largest vessel caught within the Marine Reserve. However, the origin of the fish that it transported is still unknown. We will act firmly as to these facts," said Galapagos National Park director Walter Bustos.

The DPNG, in coordination with the Attorney General's Office, is collaborating with all the necessary information in order to proceed according to the law in this alleged environmental crime. For his part, the Minister of Environment, said that he will remain "attentive to legal actions taken in Galápagos for possible transport and trafficking of protected wildlife in a captured boat."

The Ministry stressed that alleged crimes such as this can be suppressed with up to three years of custodial sentence.

The Galapagos archipelago contains a unique fauna and flora in the world, both terrestrial and marine one, and it is the habitat of the giant tortoises to which it owes its name.

Because of its rich biodiversity, it is considered a natural laboratory that allowed the English scientist Charles Darwin to develop his theory on the evolution and natural selection of species.

The Galapagos Islands were declared Patrimony of the Humanity of the Unesco in 1978.

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