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Marine Protection

Sentencing of Chinese Vessel Crew Detained in Galapagos Marine Reserve Ratified by Appeals Court

Last month members of a judiciary tribunal in a provincial appeals court ruled in favor of the Galapagos National Park in the months-long case against the crew, captain and owner of the Fu Yuan Yu Leng 999.

They ratified the sentence for the captain and crew ranging from one to three years in prison for possession and transport of protected species within the Galapagos Marine Reserve. Jail time for the captain was slightly decreased from the original four years specified. 

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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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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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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