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Hundreds of Chinese fishing vessels descend upon Galápagos protection zone by Rhoda Kwan July 27,2020   |  Source: Hong Kong Free Press

Around 260 Chinese fishing fleets have reportedly been detected in the ocean surrounding the Galápagos islands off the coast of Ecuador, according to the country’s navy.

The discovery has sparked fears for the protected region’s diverse ecosystem and marine life. The eastern Pacific Ocean islands and the surrounding seas are a UNESCO World Heritage Site celebrated for their unique wildlife and biodiversity.

“We are on alert, [conducting] surveillance, patrolling to avoid an incident such as what happened in 2017,” Defense Minister Oswaldo Jarrin told the press, according to Reuters.

The fishing fleet was spotted via satellite imaging on the borders of the Galápagos Protection Zone. Last Thursday, the fleet was squeezed between the boundaries of the protection zone and Ecuador’s territorial waters, operating in an area which serves as a major migration route for sea creatures, including many endangered species.

Environmental organisations have voiced concern that overfishing will cause the ocean’s ecosystem to collapse and harm protected marine wildlife. “We are watching the destruction of the ocean in real time,” said the Blue Planet Society, which campaigns for ocean preservation, on Twitter.

There have also been reports of empty plastic water

 

© 2020 HONG KONG FREE PRESS HKFP.

Theme(s): Fishing Craft, Gear and Fishing Methods.

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