Environment Minister Marcela Aguinaga at illegal shrimp farm evacuation. (Photo: ambiente.gov.ec)
Ministry justifies shrimp farm evacuation
Thursday, April 29, 2010, 01:20 (GMT + 9)
The Ministry of the Environment has justified the evacuation of the shrimp farm Alamos II, of the firm Grupo Quirola, classifying it as illegal for operating in an unauthorised area.
The process was effected as dictates Executive Decree 1391 maintain the authorities, since the company is set up in a zone of protected area in
the Churute Mangrove Swamp Ecological Reserve, Guayas province.
This farm occupies some 253 hectares of a total of 4,634.3 hectares unauthorised for the activity's development.
For the government, the shrimp producers that set up their operations in said area post-1999 are deemed illegal, as the installation of more plants was prohibited after that date.
| The Churute Mangrove Swamp Ecological Reserve. (Photo: Ministry of the Environment)
According to Manfred Altamirano, subsecretary of Coastal Marine Management, Alamos II was notified 30 days before the evacuation took place.
During that month, company executives lodged an appeal of the evacuation order, but the evidence collected justified the evacuation as put forth by Environment Minister Marcela Aguinaga.
"And with that, we attributed the right to reclaim the area. We did not destroy everything, what we did is open the gates of each pen so that the recovery of the mangrove swamp could commence,” Altamirano indicated.
The process was carried out even though lawyers for Grupo Quirola alleged that these areas carry property deeds.
In response, the Environment ministe noted:
the Forestry Law puts forth that “mangrove swamps are those existing on private property that are deemed State assets and which are therefore beyond commerce, unsusceptible to possession and any other means of expropriation,” El Telegrafo reports.
According to data furnished by the Ministry, 4,634.3 hectares of illegal shrimp farms are in
the Churute Mangrove Swamp Ecological Reserve; 2,926 hectares in Guayas, Cayapas Mataje; 1,096 hectares in Rio Muisne Mangrove Estuary; 54.3 hectares in Esmeraldas, and 558 hectares in
the Arenillas Ecological Reserve in El Oro.
The regularisation process began 15 October 2008 and finalised 31 March of this year.
- Evacuation of illegal shrimp farms begins
By Analia Murias