Chinese fishing fleets caught in Galapagos Islands violating Ecuadorian sovereignty

Chinese fishing fleets caught in Galapagos Islands violating Ecuadorian sovereignty

A new report shows 중국말 fishing vessels illegally entered Ecuador’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) around the Galapagos Islands multiple times this summer.

중국말 ships turned off Automatic Identification System tracking (AIS) on numerous occasions before pings of RF activity were detected nearby in Ecuadorian waters, according to a report and mapping released by HawkEye 360.

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Records indicate the boats turned off their AIS for 12 ...에 24 hours at a time, allowing them to cover large territory within the EEZ without being spotted.

While the practice is a common technique by foreign fishing vessels to enter sovereign areas, signal mapping technology by HawkEye 360 has provided clear evidence to conclude ongoing violations of international law.

Ecuadorian Navy vessels surround a fishing boat after detecting a fishing fleet of mostly Chinese-flagged ships in an international corridor that borders the Galapagos Islands' exclusive economic zone, in the Pacific Ocean, 팔월 7, 2020. Picture taken August 7, 2020. REUTERS/Santiago Arcos - RC2EAI9QEFR7

Ecuadorian Navy vessels surround a fishing boat after detecting a fishing fleet of mostly Chinese-flagged ships in an international corridor that borders the Galapagos Islandsexclusive economic zone, in the Pacific Ocean, 팔월 7, 2020. Picture taken August 7, 2020. REUTERS/Santiago ArcosRC2EAI9QEFR7

“We have specific RF activity hits from within that economic exclusion areaIt’s very powerful evidence that there is activity occurring,” HawkEye 360 CEO John Serafini told Fox News.

HawkEye 360 is able to geolocate a variety of maritime signals at once, painting a clearer picture of the 중국말 activity that is affecting Ecuadorian conservation efforts.

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They have collaborated with Airbus to compare the RF and Synthetic aperture radar information, with satellite images. This confirmed that dozens of vessels had “gone dark” to avoid being monitored.

Over the summer more than 250 중국말 ships were discovered by the Ecuadorian Navy and suspected of taking part in illegal fishing. Half of them had turned off traditional tracking methods at some point according to Ecuador’s Defense Ministry.

“It’s not unusual for these ships and for fishing vessels to kind of press the limits to try to cross over in the areas where they’re trying to follow fresh catches,” HawkEye 360 Product Marketing Director Adam Bennett said.

In an interview last month, 우리. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the actions by Chinese vessels “deeply troubling.”

Pompeo added that the United States supports Ecuador and its efforts to preserve the UNESCO world heritage-protected Galapagos Islands.

Reports earlier this month indicated that 중국말 boats were still operating near the Galapagos Islands in early September, despite promises by the 중국말 government to temporarily ban fishing there.

“The consequences could be very vast for the environment, 그만큼 중국말 vessels are fishing on areas where the migratory organisms are constantly using for their cycles,” Galapagos-based Biologist Leandro Vaca told Fox News.

중국말 fishing accounts for 15% of the world’s wild fish catch each year, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

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Differences in maritime law, combined with vast areas to protect, make it difficult to regulate the fishing industry.

“Laws should change so we can protect our species from this predatory fleet,” said Galapagos resident and former professor Luis Vinueza.

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