More than 250 Chinese ships have been detected not far from the Galapagos Islands marine reserve, owned by Ecuador, in recent days.
The Ecuadorian navy was concerned about the presence of these Chinese ships, made up of trawlers, tankers, factory ships and logistics vessels. “They can easily fish over an area of over 30,000 km2, equivalent to our provinces of Guayas, El Oro, Santa Elena and Los Rios, ”said Rear Admiral Darwin Jarrin, according to comments relayed by RFI.
The fears of this South American country and environmental protection organizations are linked to overfishing in an area that contains great biodiversity and in particular a wide diversity of shark species.
However, for the moment, the Chinese fleet is not in an illegal situation. There is a heavy liability between Ecuador and China regarding fishing in this area. In 2017, Chinese fishermen were heavily sanctioned ($ 5.9 million in fines) after being caught in the bag with 300 tonnes of illegal fishing.
In 2019, Ecuador had squarely sent its army to a fleet of Chinese fishing boats which sailed near the protected maritime zone.