Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (Photo: AP)
The US supported Ecuador and denounced China's huge fleet of predatory fishing boats on the Galapagos Island
Tuesday, August 04, 2020, 00:10 (GMT + 9)
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo alerted to the boats around the Marine Reserve. The Xi Jinping regime "routinely violates the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of coastal states," he charged.
The United States has expressed its support for Ecuador in monitoring a Chinese flag fishing fleet that is in international waters near the Galapagos maritime reserve, the US State Department announced. "We strongly support Ecuador's efforts to ensure that vessels with the PRC (People's Republic of China) flag do not participate in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing," said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement.
Two weeks ago, the Ecuadorian Navy warned that a fishing fleet made up of about 260 boats, mostly Chinese, was sailing near the Galapagos.
In the image, the rear admiral, Daniel Gínez Villacís, Commander of Naval Operations of the Navy, at a press conference this Thursday in Quito (Ecuador). EFE / Ecuador Navy
The US official noted that the Ecuadorian government warned that the hundreds of Chinese ships that sail "near the important Galapagos marine reserve (...) harvest endangered sharks to obtain their fins, along with many other protected species."
Quito expressed its "discomfort" at the presence of the fishing boats near the Galapagos Islands, located in the Pacific 1,000 km from the Ecuadorian coast, which have one of the most fragile ecosystems, with unique flora and fauna in the world.
The Ecuadorian Government has warned China that it will enforce its maritime sovereignty around the Galapagos Archipelago, about 1,000 kilometers from the mainland coast (@CancilleriaEc)
"It is more important than ever that the international community defend the rule of law and insist on better environmental management in Beijing," said the US diplomat. Pompeo added that "China subsidizes the world's largest commercial fishing fleet, which routinely violates the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of coastal states, fishing without permission."
"The international fishing fleet is outside the exclusive economic zone and the concern is when they may penetrate or infiltrate the exclusive economic zone" of the Galapagos, Ecuadorian Defense Minister Oswaldo Jarrín warned the press on Tuesday.
In 2017 Ecuador captured a Chinese-flagged ship carrying 300 tons of marine fauna, including endangered shark species, within the Galapagos Marine Reserve.
The Galapagos archipelago is made up of 13 large, 6 minor islands and 42 islets, and for its rich biodiversity it is considered a natural laboratory that allowed the English scientist Charles Darwin to develop his theory on the evolution and natural selection of species.