Chinese crew suspected of illegally catching rare and protected sharks near Galapagos Islands marine reserve
Minister says boat was stopped in Galapagos marine reserve with 300 tonnes of fish, including protected species
A court in Ecuador remanded in custody the Chinese crew of a fishing boat suspected of catching endangered sharks in the Galapagos Islands marine reserve, a minister said.
The Chinese-flagged Fu Yuan Yu Leng 999 was caught on Sunday with 300 tonnes of fish, mostly sharks, including protected species such as the hammerhead, said Ecuador’s environment minister Tarsicio Granizo.
A judge on the island of San Cristobal ordered about the ship’s crew of about 20 to be held in custody pending court proceedings, Granizo told a news conference in the capital Quito.
“Not necessarily all of the catch came from the marine reserve, but the fact that it included young sharks, even baby sharks, indicates that they could have been caught inside the reserve,” the minister said.
Ecuadorian law allows prison sentences of up to three years for crimes against protected flora and fauna.