Illegal Fisher Apprehended | November 6th, 2008

On May 20th 2008, the Galapagos National Park patrol boat Guadalupe River, apprehended an illegal fishing boat, the Dona Blanca 1 from Manta on the coast of Ecuador. The boat, along with ten fishing dinghies, was apprehended 35 miles north east of Punta Pitt, the northern most point of San Cristobal, and well within the Galapagos Marine Reserve. On board the park rangers and a member of the Ecuadorian Navy carried out an inspection. In the hold of the vessel they found more than 160 freshly-caught sharks on ice including the blue, silky and thresher species as well as albacore tuna and swordfish. The boat was immediately transferred, along with the 35 crew, to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the provincial capital, for further investigation. The ship and its dinghies were using longlines with over 190 hooks per line. Only artisanal fishing is permitted, under license, within the reserve. Long lining is specifically prohibited. 

It will be interesting to see what happens, in the past fishing boats have been apprehended but the owners have not always been held to account. Now that the Ecuadorian Government has publicly committed itself to putting more resources into the conservation of the islands, let’s hope that they are able to demonstrate this commitment in the way that they deal with illegal fishing.