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Chinese Vessel Crew Detained in Galapagos Marine Reserve Sentenced For Transport and Possession of Endangered Sharks

A crew member from the Fu Yuan Yu Leng 999 (Reuters)

August 30 2017 – On Monday an Ecuadorian judge sentenced the crew of a Chinese ship to prison terms ranging from 1-4 years for possession and transport of protected species within the Galapagos Marine Reserve. In addition, the crew of the vessel was fined US$5.9 million as reparation for the damages to the marine ecosystem. The vessel was confiscated and, if sold, proceeds will benefit the Galapagos National Park. The cargo vessel was caught earlier this month illegally transiting through the Galapagos Marine Reserve with a hull filled with 6,623 sharks, including juvenile hammerhead and silky sharks.

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Jackie Chan fights for pangolins

Martial arts superstar and wildlife champion Jackie Chan is calling for an end to consuming pangolin products in a new public service announcement for WildAid and The Nature Conservancy.

In "Kung Fu Pangolin," Chan spreads the message that pangolins are now all protected by law, and he urges viewers not to consume pangolin products. While many people may have never heard of pangolins, they are the most heavily trafficked mammals on the planet. An estimated one million have been poached from the wild over the past decade.

Largest Wildlife Trafficking Bust in Galapagos

300 tons of sharks and fish were found on a Chinese cargo vessel this week (Galapagos National Park Service).

Earlier this week, a Chinese cargo vessel was caught illegally transiting through the Galapagos Marine Reserve with a hull filled with thousands of sharks and tuna.

The cargo vessel, the Fu Yuan Yu Leng 999, was detected using the Galapagos National Park Service’s new AIS monitoring system—procured and installed by WildAidWWF and Sea Shepherd earlier this year. The Galapagos National Park control center monitored its trajectory and vectored a patrol vessel to interdict. Galapagos Park Rangers and Ecuadorian Navy officials intercepted the vessel 34.5 miles off the coast of the island of San Cristobal and arrested its crew of 20. Upon inspecting its hold, they found 300 tons of frozen sharks and fish, including juvenile hammerhead and silky sharks.

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In Memoriam: Wayne Lotter

Today we received the shocking news that Wayne Lotter, co-founder of the PAMS Foundation in Tanzania, had been shot and killed in Dar es Salaam.

For decades, Wayne was a fearless and vocal advocate for wildlife and wild places. Despite the obstacles that he faced, and there were many, Wayne was always planning the next step, looking for ways to extend PAMS' reach and, to his dismay, spending precious time seeking funds to do it with. Many people and organizations were only too glad to give him those funds.

A Ride-Along with the Machalilla Park Rangers

Machalilla's new patrol vessel, the Megaptera (Gustavo Crespo)

It’s 7pm on a Tuesday in Puerto López, Ecuador. The Megáptera, a speedboat donated by WildAid to Machalilla National Park, lies in the sand. Two Machalilla Park Rangers, Rodrigo and Wilfer, check the tide to depart on a four-day patrol of Isla de la Plata.

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