Galapagos under environmental attack by 260 Chinese fishing vessels

2020-Galapagos-bottles-01-2

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Jul 28, 2020 | by Kevin Loughlin

As I talk about the Galapagos Islands to camera clubs, birding clubs and other organizations on a regular basis, I inevitably have folks tell me, “they shouldn’t allow tourism in the Galapagos because it is destroying the environment.” Mind you, none of the people saying this have ever actually been there, so have no idea how tourism in this amazing place even works. I try to explain to them that without the protection of eco-tourism, the Galapagos Islands and its wildlife would cease to exist.

Case in point… with COVID-19 shutting down all tourism operations in Ecuador and the Galapagos, we now have a fleet of over 260 Chinese fishing vessels descending upon the Galapagos Marine Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site! Every year there is illegal fishing by the Chinese in the islands, stealing tons of sea life, but we also find their garbage dumped overboard from time-to-time as proof (see image above… just a portion of thousands of bottles thrown overboard… this with labels were all in Chines). However, with no tourism happening during the pandemic, the Chinese fishermen, have depleted their own waters, are planning to take advantage of the lack of eco-tourism resources used to protect the islands.

Please read this article <https://earth.org/hundreds-of-chinese-fishing-vessels-discovered-near-galapagos-protection-zone/>, just one of many if you do a search. The Ecuadorian Navy is on alert, so there is some hope… but a stronger presence is needed. Will the US try to help?

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