Shark fishermen in Galapagos apprehended

CNH Tours is pleased to report that the Galapagos National Park Service, with the support of 2 naval officials, captured three boats containing recently caught sharks, an illegal practice in Galapgos - fishing, transport and marketing of sharks is illegal in the islands.  The vessels were brought to the main town of Puerto Ayora yesterday week.

Between 23 and 24 February, the marine patrol unit the Galapagos National Park Service planned an operation to patrol the southern sector of the archipelago, aboard their speedboats Sea Ranger 2 and Sea Ranger 3.

During the early morning (03h45) on February 24, the vessel the vessel F / M Virgen de Monserrate, registration B-06-04782, was sighted and captured, registered in the home port of Anconcito, on the mainland.  Non-Galapagos fishermen are not permitted to fish in Galapagos waters (they have the entire ocean to fish in already!).   They were carrying 3 crew and had were fishing with long lines (one line stretching out hundreds of meters, with hundreds of hooks attached). At the time of capture, the boat was looking for the main line of the fishing gear that had been cut, so f was not found on board.

Then, at about 0500 and again at 0830 that morning 2 other boats from the same mainland port were captured, this time with long lining being carried out, and with the carcasses of 8 and 17 sharks respectively, and a swordfish.  One shark was still alive and returned to the sea.    

A fourth ship was sighted, but it was just outside the marine reserve limits and no action was taken, though there is reason to believe it had been operating within the reserve.     The smaller, captured boats typically are associated with a larger ship from which they get their supplies (food, fuel).  

Once a Puerto Ayora, legal proceedings were begin and the crew was handed over to the National Police.    

Fishing activities within the Galapagos Marine Reserve are allowed only for residents of the islands fishing, so fishermen boats and detainees are not allowed to carry out fishing activities in it. The use of so-called longline fishing gear is prohibited within the Galapagos Marine Reserve as well as fishing, transport and marketing of sharks.

Shark fishermen