Ecuador is going to offer China alternatives to the Beijing-proposed 3-month moratorium on fishing in the vicinity of Galapagos Islands marine reserve following controversy around excessive Chinese fishing there, the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry told Sputnik on Monday.
In late July, Ecuador sounded alarm over the presence of hundreds of aggressively behaving Chinese-flagged fishing vessels in the continental shelf near its Galapagos Islands. Ecuadorian authorities informed Beijing that fishing was restricted in the Galapagos maritime reserve, which accommodates many rare species of flora and fauna. Chinese authorities responded by issuing a temporary ban on fishing there for the period from September to November.
“China unilaterally banned fishing in the western part of open sea near the Galapagos Islands marine reserve from September to November. Ecuador will make a counteroffer to China with regard to the timing and fish species,” the ministry said.
Commenting on the progress Ecuador-China dialogue, which Beijing agreed to engage in in early August, the ministry said several meetings on the level of relevant authorities had already taken place and Ecuador had outlined its concerns during them.
“The dialogue remains open and the talks continue,” the ministry added.
The Galapagos Islands are included in the UNESCO World Heritage list. They include an archipelago of 19 islands and a surrounding marine reserve with wildlife and nature so diverse and unique that they are often referred to as a natural museum showcasing the course of evolution.