In August, the government of Ecuador prosecuted a Chinese ship’s crew for illegally transporting endangered species, including more than 6,000 sharks. The case made headlines worldwide and was one of the largest busts to date of illegal fishing in the Galápagos Marine Reserve. This case raised eyebrows internationally and results in some serious action plans against illegal fishing.
The Ecuadorian judge sentenced the 20 Chinese fishermen with up to four years in jail and fined them a total of US$ 5.9 million for transporting endangered species off the Galápagos Islands.
This was one case of illegal species transportation, but it’s symbolic of the positive direction Ecuador is taking to crack down on illegal fishing. One of the characteristics of this particular case was the agility and courage shown by the Ecuadorian government, especially given all of the pressure from the Chinese government and others.