The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Ecuador. These 19 islands are home to an array of diverse plant and marine life. Several of these species are unique to the Galapagos. These include the land iguana and the giant tortoise. The Marine Reserve is the most diverse spectacle of wildlife in the world, with coral, sharks, penguins, and more.
Despite being a protected area, there are still many threats to its ecosystem. These include tourism, demographic growth, illegal fishing and governance issues. What is happening right now with a Chinese fishing fleet parking beside the Islands is unprecedented. Currently there are 265 of these vessels between the Galapagos and the border of Ecuador. This is an essential part of the Pacific Ocean that endangered species need. Norman Wray, the President of the Galapagos Governing Council has raised concerns that these ships could affect the vast biodiversity of the Galapagos. Furthermore, Dr. Alex Hearn, a specialist in Marine Protected Areas and fish movement, says that fishing fleets such as this have reduced marine populations significantly in the past twenty years.
These ships are going for 300 miles and dropping an estimated 26 millions hooks. Since the fleet is just outside the Economic Exclusion Zone, they are able to fish legally by not disrupting Ecuador's territorial waters. This is why it is imperative that fishing in areas like the Galapagos is made illegal. Pressure must be made against China in order to protect our marine and wild life reserves for the future.
Below is a petition you can sign that will help put a ban on fishing in protected areas.
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