From The @Guardian: Alarm over the discovery of hundreds of Chinese fishing vessels near the Galápagos Islands. The fleet was found just outside a protected zone, raising the prospect of damage to the marine ecosystem.
About 260 ships are currently in international waters just outside a 188-mile wide exclusive economic zone around the island, but their presence has already raised the prospect of serious damage to the delicate marine ecosystem, said a former environment minister, Yolanda Kakabadse.
“This fleet’s size and aggressiveness against marine species is a big threat to the balance of species in the Galápagos,” she told the Guardian.
Kakabadse and an ex-mayor of Quito, Roque Sevilla, were on Monday put in charge of designing a “protection strategy” for the islands, which lie 563 miles west of the South American mainland.
Chinese fishing vessels come every year to the seas around the Galápagos, which were declared a Unesco world heritage site in 1978, but this year’s fleet is one of the largest seen in recent years.
Photo: Adrian Vasquez/AP