Analysis | Chinese fishing fleet near Galápagos NP spotlights need for new regulation of high seas
More than 300 foreign fishing ships, almost all Chinese, have been sitting in international waters surrounding the Galapagos Islands since late July. The islands, nearly 1,000 km from the coast of Ecuador, are best-known for their unique wildlife.
As these vessels are in international waters, their presence is technically lawful. They are reportedly fishing for squid and have been coming to this location for four years.
However, the ecological reality is that fish do not recognise state boundaries and therefore fishing at this scale so close to the Galapagos Marine Reserve implies a serious risk for endangered, migratory species found within the protected area such as whale sharks and hammerhead sharks.