With information from EFE
The minister Ecuadorian of Foreign Relations and Human Mobility, Luis Gallegos, announced on Monday that he intended to address with his counterparts the South Pacific Commission and in a personalized way the presence of an important fishing fleet with Chinese, Liberian and Panamanian flag ships, among other nationalities, near the territorial waters of Galapagos.
Ecuador has raised an instance of warning to the Chinese Embassy in Quito, as well as through its legation in Beijing, in which it reiterated that if the fishing vessels enter the EEZ that surrounds the archipelago, “they would be subject to retaliation.”
In the last week, the Ecuadorian government has warned China that it will enforce its maritime sovereignty around the archipelago, located about 1,000 kilometers from the mainland coast, in the presence of more than 250 vessels.
Ecuador asks for support from Peru, Colombia and Chile
The Permanent Commission of the South Pacific (CPPS) convened an extraordinary assembly on Wednesday to analyze illegal fishing at the request of Ecuador, which in recent weeks has alerted to the presence of a fishing fleet near the Galapagos. This was reported by the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry in a note specifying that the Committee, CPPS, condemned illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in international waters, welcoming the proposal of Ecuador, to which were added suggestions from Colombia, Chile and Peru.
In the virtual meeting, the members of the organization agreed to urgently convene an extraordinary assembly to adopt possible actions to face this type of threat, an appointment of which the date has not yet been reported. They also reaffirmed their commitment to ocean conservation and sustainable fishing, according to the international instruments that exist for their development and in compliance with the conservation measures of the Regional Organizations for Fisheries Management.
The presence of foreign-flagged fleets in the vicinity of the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of the Ecuadorian archipelago led the Foreign Ministry to present a proposal aimed at achieving more effective and joint coordination of the Pacific riparian countries in this area.
The objective is to integrate efforts for the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources and combat illegal fishing. The CPPS has spoken on this issue on previous occasions, as it did in October 2017, after the capture of a Chinese vessel loaded with protected species in the Galapagos Islands.