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Ecuadorian Courts Sentence Local Illegal Fisher to 3 Years in Prison

Galapagos National Park rangers sorting through the confiscated sea cucumbers (DPNG).

An Ecuador court sentenced a Galapagos resident to three years in prison, earlier this month, for the illegal trafficking of sea cucumbers.

This particular conviction is a victory for the local community and authorities as it serves as an important deterrent for those considering carrying out illegal fishing and trafficking of protected species. Historically, the legal system tended to be more lenient towards local perpetrators; however, this verdict goes a long way in showing that wildlife laws are applied equally to all, regardless of origin.

After two days of deliberation, the Seventh Tribunal in Guayas unanimously sentenced a Galapagos resident to three years in prison for trafficking 3,712 sea cucumbers (181 lbs). The sea cucumbers were discovered January 2016 during a routine search by Galapagos National Park and National Police officers at the Baltra island airport. The trafficker had attempted to smuggle the sea cucumbers inside three cartons, where fish were used to hide the dried and salted sea cucumbers.

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WildAid Vietnam Launches Campaign to Protect Pangolins

In Hanoi, WildAid ambassadors add cardboard "scales" to a symbolic pangolin at the launch of the new campaign / from left: John Baker (WildAid), Miss Universe Vietnam 2015 Pham Huong, Hong Hoang (WildAid/CHANGE), singer Thu Minh and comedian Tran Thanh

HANOI (July 29, 2016) — Celebrities and leaders from across Vietnam are speaking out to save pangolins, the world’s most-trafficked mammals, with the launch of a new WildAid campaign to be broadcast throughout the nation.  

Native to Asia and Africa, pangolins are small insectivores that are unique among mammals for their large, overlapping scales made of keratin — the same protein found in human hair and fingernails. Consumer demand for pangolin scales (used in Traditional Chinese Medicine) as well as pangolin meat have led to rampant poaching to meet consumer demand in China and Vietnam. 

Using WildAid’s proven strategies to reduce consumer demand for shark fin, elephant ivory and rhino horn, the new campaign features a coalition of celebrities, government representatives, diplomats, business leaders and media partners who speak out against the pangolin trade and urge consumers not to buy pangolin products.

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Chinese Conglomerate COSCO Shipping Bans Shark Fin Shipments

HONG KONG (July 24, 2016) — China COSCO Shipping Corporation Ltd., one of the world’s largest cargo carriers, has announced that it will ban all shark fin shipments, joining a growing number of transport and logistics companies standing up against a brutal trade that kills millions of sharks annually.

Hong Kong Intercepts Massive Shipment of Suspected Pangolin Scales

Three of 259 bags with suspected pangolin scales seized by Hong Kong Customs (Photo: Hong Kong Customs)

Also known as “scaly anteaters,” pangolins are small insectivores from Asia and Africa that are unique among mammals for their large, overlapping scales made of keratin — the same protein found in human hair and fingernails. Consumer demand for pangolin scales (used in Traditional Chinese Medicine) as well as pangolin meat have led to rampant poaching. In fact, the pangolin is considered by many to be the most-trafficked mammal on earth: All eight pangolin species are at risk of extinction.

According to a government press release issued Tuesday, officials seized 259 bags containing about 7 tons of suspected pangolin scales — more than the weight of the average African elephant. The scales were found via routine random inspection of a shipment arriving from Nigeria that had been falsely declared as “660 bags of recycled plastic particles.”

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Saving Injured Sea Turtles in Ecuador

The Machalilla Wildlife Rehabilitation Hospital in Ecuador

We’re excited to announce that WildAid has now partnered with the Machalilla wildlife hospital in Ecuador to provide comprehensive protection for sea turtles.

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