by Elijah Mt. Castle
A fishing fleet hailing from China has been forced away from the Galapagos Islands by Ecuador’s navy. In recent years Chinese fishing vessels have begun fishing for giant squid during the summer near the protected area of the Galapagos islands. This year’s fleet was the largest on record, according to Rear Admiral Daniel Ginez, the Ecuadorian Commander of Naval Operations. The Galapagos islands are best known for Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and host a diverse biosphere of species, some of which are endangered. While not entering Ecuador’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the fishing vessels threaten the species who crossed outside of the protected zone of the islands. The vessels have since moved to the edge of Peru’s EEZ, and are continuing to fish. It was reported that some of the vessels turned off satellite communications, which is in violation of fishing protocols. The Chinese government has promised to crack down on illegal fishing near the Galapagos. The map shows movement of heavily lit fishing vessel fleet movements by month from 2019 August to 2020 August.