Illegal Fishermen Seized by Park the Released by Navy!

Navy brass prevents park from charging illegal fishermen

CNH Tours has just learned that Ecuador's Navy was responsible for preventing the application of the law in Galapagos, regarding the charging of fishermen caught carrying out illegal fishing practices, with a crew that had no fishing permits.

 

During a usual patrol in waters off northern Isabela island on Thursday last week, the park rangers on board the speedboat Sea Ranger 2, inspected two ships, the Atacames and the Lady, for a routine inspection.

The inspection revealed that these two boats had longline fishing gear, which is banned from use within the Galapagos Marine Reserve.   Moreover, the first boat was manned by people who did not hold a valid fishing permit for Galapagos waters.    

Based on these two confirmed violations, the park rangers, accompanied by a member of the Navy, escorted the two ships back to port.   The Park reported that during the trip, these two boats sought for a way to evade the park rangers, unsuccessfully.

Once at port in Puerto Ayora, the Park staff contacted the local attorney general's representative to confirm the illegality of the act - it was confirmed by the official government representative responsible for doing so.   The fishing boats and their crew were met at the docks by the attorney general's representative, to take them into custody.    

At the same time, a small group of people arrived and started accusing the park of making mistakes, claiming that long line fishing was legal in Galapagos (it is not) - sowing confusion.   The  local Port Captain of the Navy, Lieutenant Luis Martinez, was called in to handle the situation.   After consulations with his superiors by phone, the port captain decided to release the apprehended fishermen and their boats, and dismissed the Park's action.

CNH Tours is extremely concerned over this issue.   Ecuador has been criticized in the very recent past for not ensuring the proper application of the law in Galapagos, resulting in the impunity for people carrying out activities harmful to the integrity of the National Park and its Marine Reserve.  CNH Tours has sent a note to the Galapagos Chamber of Tourism expressing its concern over this issue and recommends others to do the same by sending your message here:  infocptg@capturgal.org.ec and asking that the Galapagos Chamber of Tourism also express its concerns to government authorities.

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