GALAPAGOS CRISIS

Geoff Wood gwood at bmr.gov.au
Wed Feb 1 22:47:22 EST 1995


In article 5016 at nmt.edu, ahicks at nmt.edu (Aaron Hicks) writes:

	ATTENTION:

	There is a crisis currently underway with the environmentally
significant Galapagos Islands. I have received the following E-mail, and
am confident its content is valid. If I should find out at a point in
time in the future that it is false, I will immediately post to correct
any errors.
	I also received a follow-up post that there was going to be an
article on the US program Day One on Thursday about these series of
events.

	Forwarded message is as follows:

> GALAPAGOS CRISIS:
>
> SCIENTIFIC PERSONNEL AND ENDANGERED ANIMALS
HELD HOSTAGE
>
> CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION AND GALAPAGOS
NATIONAL
> PARK SERVICE HELD HOSTAGE BY ARMED FISHERMAN
>
> -News from Conservation Network International. 
 January 31, 1995
>
> Masked fisherman (calling themselves Pepineros/or sea cucumber
> collectors) armed with clubs and machetes, seized control of the
> properties of the Charles Darwin Research Station and
Galapagos National Park Service boat, on Tuesday, January 3,
1995, in the community of Puerto Ayora, Galapagos.  The launch
for the CDRS was sunk and access to/from the airport was cut off
by the vindictive pepineros. The seizure lasted three days.

> CDRS and Park personnel were confined to buildings.  Those who
live within the Park and Station campuses were rarely allowed to
leave.  In effect the two institutions, their staffs, the facilities and the
breeding groups of giant tortoises and land iguanas were held
 hostage in a World Heritage Site. Apart from a broken arm and an
unexploded bomb in a Park Service, the level of violence has not yet
attracted the attention of the international press.  However, those
who realize what is at stake recognize that if the Ecuadorian
government continues to submit to the black market demands of
these fisherman, the world will lose the largest virgin island
(Fernandina) in the world, as well as the last significant population
of Hammerhead sharks.
>
> In recent months, Conservation Network International (CNI) has
confirmed:
>
>  -$1billion Sucres (~$40 million US) were transferred thru the two
>   Galapagos banks. One fisherman cashed a US$ 50,000 check.
>  -Uncontrolled fishing boats are harvesting everything marketable
from the sea floor. The fisherman continue to cut mangroves for
 fuel to boil their catch and there are floating brothels for
entertainment.
>  -Fishing boats carrying chickens, dogs, and inevitably rats and
 mice are pillaging the coasts of western Isabela and Fernandina
 Islands.
>  -An "experimental" sea cucumber fishery and a shark fishing
industry were endorsed by the government on June 23, 1994. A limit
 of 550,000 sea cucumbers was set by the authorities. No means of
 regulation was  established and an estimated 6 - 10 million were
 taken before the government finally tried to stop the "experiment".
>  -The reason for the violence and hostage situation is that the
>   fisherman are demanding the reopening of the sea cucumber
fishery.
>
> The crisis has now entered a dramatic level of exploitation while
the current border dispute between Peru and Ecuador is attracting
 attention away from the crisis in the Galapagos.
>
> Due to the political and socio-economic pressure, The Darwin
 Foundation has been unable to forcefully denounce and combat the
 environmental travesty that has developed. Conservation Network
 International, Inc. was formed as a non-profit organization in July,
 1994, to oppose a series of  commercial fisheries in the Galapagos.
>
> WHAT YOU CAN DO:
>
> 1. Write a letter to the President of Ecuador
>
> Pres. Sixto Duran Ballen
> Garcia Moreno 1043
> Quito, Ecuador
>
>    With copies to:
>
> Lic. Armando Espinel
> Ministerior de Informacion y Tourismo
> Quito, Ecuador
>
> Ab. Gustavo Gonzales
> Subsecretario de Pesca
> Guayaquil, Ecuador
>
> Lic. Jorge Barba
> Director INEFAN
> Quito, Ecuador
>
> Sr. Director
> Diario EL COMERCIO
> Quito, Ecuador
>
> Sr. Director
> Diario EL UNIVERSO
> Guayaquil, Ecuador
>
> Lic. Arturo Izurieta Valery
> Intendente del Servicio Parque Nacional Galapagos
> Puerto Ayora
> Islas Galapagos
> Ecuador
>
> 2. Call your travel agent and any journalists who might be
 interested in this issue and feel free to refer them to Conservation
 Network International.
>
> 3. Support the efforts of Conservation Network International to
expand our publicity campaign and stop the exportation of shark 
fins and sea cucumbers from the Galapagos.
>
> Conservation Network International will continue to support the
 local Galapagos naturalists who are now risking their lives to stop
 the exploitation. CNI has no employees and all contributions are
invested directly for the cause. Our intentions are to stop the
 exploitation of all marine resources from the Galapagos and do
 what ever is necessary to insure the long term preservation of this
 world heritage site and the last significant population of
 Hammerhead sharks.
>
> Conservation Network International, Inc.
> Jack Grove, President
> 146 N. Sunrise Drive
> Tavernier, Florida 33070
> Tel/Fax 305-852-6004
>
> PLEASE FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO THOSE WHO MAY BE 
INTERESTED!!
>

	I have also been informed by Matt James, who is (pardon me if I
get this wrong) head of the geology program at U. Sonoma in California, 
that anyone desiring to verify this information call the Charles Darwin 
Foundation in Falls Church, Virginia, at 703-538-6833 or FAX 703-538-6835. 
He also reports that an article in _Science_ on the issue is due out in
about two weeks. Unfortunately, these series of events may be occuring
too fast for that; I suggest that as much action, as quickly as possible,
may be the only recourse in this issue.

	-AJHicks
	NMTech
	Dept. of Geoscience









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