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.

Additionally, the owner of the vessel was fined US$6 million as reparations for damages to the marine ecosystem. This is an increase from the original US$5.9 million sentencing. The sentencing in August also included confiscation of the vessel with sales proceeds (if applicable) to benefit the Galapagos National Park. However, the judge overturned this ruling. The vessel will be returned to the original owner upon receipt of the US$6 million payment.

The cargo vessel was caught in August this year illegally transiting through the Galapagos Marine Reserve with a hull filled with 6,623 sharks, including juvenile hammerhead and silky sharks.

“The court ratified the actions taken by the Galapagos National Park. They confirmed the park’s statement that the crew’s human rights were respected. The park staff acted in accordance to the Ecuadorian constitution in defense of the rights of nature,” Walter Bustos, director of Galapagos National Park stated.

The cargo vessel, Fu Yuan Yu Leng 999, was detected and tracked using the Galapagos National Park Service’s new AIS monitoring system—procured and installed by WildAid, WWF and Sea Shepherd. 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.

Chinese Vessel Crew Detained in Galapagos Marine Reserve Sentenced For Transport and Possession of Endangered Sharks

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.

Ecuador’s Minister of Environment Tarsicio Granizo emphasized that this sentence is in accordance with the government’s zero tolerance policy toward environmental crimes, and that the case sets an important precedent for the country and the world.

Yesterday Ecuador’s National Assembly released a resolution to further emphasize the country’s commitment to prevent illegal fishing within its territorial waters.

“The only way to stop illegal fishing of protected species is to inflict serious penalties on those caught in the act, especially the boat owners. All too often there are small fines and a slap on the wrist,” said Peter Knights, CEO of WildAid.

The cargo vessel, Fu Yuan Yu Leng 999, was detected and tracked using the Galapagos National Park Service’s new AIS monitoring system—procured and installed by WildAidWWF and Sea Shepherd. 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.

In response to the sentencing, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters that “the Chinese government opposes all forms of illegal fishing and adopts a zero-tolerance attitude towards illegal trading in endangered wildlife and the products derived from them. We will not condone illegal fishing in any form.”

The spokesperson said during a press briefing Tuesday that “the Chinese government is launching its own investigation and verification. Any illegal actions, if found, will be severely punished by international law and China’s domestic laws.”

She further stated that “China has noted the sentence delivered by the Ecuadorian side. We hope that Ecuador will deal with this case in a just and unbiased way based on the objective facts and guarantee the legitimate and lawful rights and interests of the Chinese crew.”

Fins from up to 73 million sharks are used for shark fin soup each year, including those from endangered species. To stop shark finning in the Galapagos, WildAid works with park rangers and the Ecuadorian Navy to monitor the vast reserve. This is the first interdiction of a foreign vessel since the installation of the new AIS software this year and the announcement last year of a marine sanctuary at Darwin and Wolf to protect sharks.

Galapagos National Park Director Walter Bustos said that the ship was the largest vessel ever caught in the reserve’s boundaries. He further stated that the enforcement of environmental policies in Ecuador through this case has created greater global awareness for the problems faced in our oceans daily, which may inspire greater action on an international level against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, known by the acronym IUU.

WildAid also works in China to decrease demand for shark fins through targeted celebrity-led awareness campaigns. Our Say No to Shark Fin campaign previously aired on TV, video boards in subway and train stations, airports, and university campuses featuring Yao Ming, sports icon David Beckham, actor and director Jiang Wen, and actress Maggie Q. These campaigns have contributed to a reported 50-70% decrease in Chinese shark fin consumption.

WildAid applauds both Ecuador and China for their firm stances and swift actions in this case.

Reducing Plastic Waste in the Galapagos

WildAid and the Galapagos National Park Service launched a two-month campaign in the Galapagos to reduce plastic use in schools.

WildAid has embarked on a new campaign to ensure protection for marine species in the Galapagos Marine Reserve. This week, together with the Galapagos National Park Service, we launched a campaign in the Galapagos to fight plastic pollution. Named “+Life – Trash”, the two-month educational campaign intends to reduce the use of plastic bottles in Galapagos schools.

Our oceans currently receive 5-13 million metric tons of plastic waste each year. The results of this can be seen in the oceanic garbage patches— vortexes of plastic debris; overwhelming pollution in coastal areas, including an uninhabited island in the South Pacific that had nearly 38 million pieces of plastic on its beaches; and marine wildlife deaths due to ingestion of plastic pieces, including a whale that died last week due to starvation after ingesting dozens of plastic bags.

Unfortunately, plastic waste continues to increase across the world and a new investigative report by the Guardian found some troubling figures:
One million plastic bottles are bought every minute;

  • One million plastic bottles are bought every minute;
  • By 2021, demand for plastic bottles is slated to rise by more than 20%;
  • Fewer than 50% of the bottles bought in 2016 were recycled;
  • And only 7% of those recycled were turned into new bottles –
    the rest ended up in landfills or the oceans

These numbers support a report published by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation that by 2050, our oceans will contain more plastic than fish. Unsubstantial fishing practices have already overexploited or depleted 90% of commercial fisheries and the impacts of climate change threaten to destroy critical marine habitat, which could further decimate marine species.

However, effective marine management could help to protect places like the Galapagos, whose marine biodiversity is a beacon of hope for other nations and where illegal fishing has severely declined over the last decade due to increased enforcement.

WildAid’s plastics-reduction campaign is being piloted on 488 students at a local elementary school in the Galapagos, as well as parents and teachers. The campaign will track plastic use throughout the year and compare it to current numbers to measure its effectiveness. Using a combination of games and infographics, our team will explain why plastic pollution is a problem for our oceans and how it impacts bird, turtle, and marine mammal species, as well as our own health and economy. Students will also be given a reusable water bottle to incentivize its use over single-use plastic bottles.

WildAid is reducing plastic use in the Galapagos thanks to the support of National Geographic—Lindblad Expeditions. This campaign is part of our work with the Galapagos National Park Service to increase sustainability in artisanal fisheries, increase safety at Galapagos tourist sites, and provide environmental education for Galapagos residents.

A New Patrol Vessel for Machalilla National Park in Ecuador

WildAid donates a patrol boat to Machalilla National Park to expand humpback whale rescues and decrease illegal fishing.

Isla de la Plata in Machalilla National Park has some of the most biodiverse and productive waters on Ecuador’s coast. Known for spectacular wildlife sightings including giant mantas, humpback whales, sharks and sea turtles, it is not uncommon to see tourist vessels taking visitors to the island by day and illegal fishing boats by night. WildAid assisted the park this month in acquiring a new patrol vessel to protect these waters from illegal fishing.

The Rangers at Machalilla risk their lives every day to patrol the waters surrounding Isla de la Plata, removing ghost nets (fishing nets that have been left or lost in the ocean by fishermen) to prevent accidental bycatch and intercepting illegal fishing. Additionally, the Rangers started a humpback whale rescue program to rescue whales entangled in illegal fishing gear, as well as a wildlife rehabilitation hospital to treat injured marine wildlife along the coast.

Last year, WildAid helped the Machalilla Park Rangers increase surveillance of the area by installing a long-range camera and AIS at Isla de la Plata. However, the Park Rangers only had access to one patrol boat to travel from the mainland control center to the island station. Thus, if surveillance equipment spotted illegal fishing activity near Isla de la Plata, a patrol boat could take up to three hours to intercept the fishers, who would be long-gone by then.

In response, WildAid procured a patrol vessel for use specifically at Isla de la Plata to ensure that Rangers stationed there had quick access to better intercept illegal fishers. In addition to its help in enforcement activities, the new vessel will be crucial for the expansion of the humpback whale rescue program. As the majority of humpback whales that visit this region of Ecuador congregate in the waters surrounding Isla de la Plata, the risk of encountering illegal fishing gear there is greater than closer to the mainland. Last year, Machalilla Park Rangers rescued five whales that had been entangled in fishing lines and nets and this year expect to increase rescues due to the new patrol vessel.

This work is part of a three-year project in Ecuador to reduce illegal fishing in six of its coastal marine protected areas. Our work includes a comprehensive marine protection plan for each site, support for regular patrols, surveillance equipment, training for Rangers and fisher/ community outreach.

WildAid has helped decrease illegal fishing on Ecuador’s coast since 2014 thanks to the support of the Sandler Foundation, Conservation International, the Walton Family Foundation, the Overbrook Foundation and the Stellar Blue Fund.

Adapting C3 Tactics for Marine Conservation

WildAid supports Pacoche, Santa Elena and El Morro marine parks in providing reliable communication equipment and systematic training of Rangers in maritime operations.

Communications, command and control (C3) models are used throughout the U.S. armed forces to ensure mission objectives. This assures situational awareness and getting critical information to the right users at the right time. At WildAid, we’ve adapted these principles to the marinescape with the dual goal of protecting precious fisheries and Park Wardens, as exemplified by the following scenario.

A small artisanal boat is moored in a popular local fishing spot in the Santa Elena Wildlife Refuge when two divers emerge with bags full of their catch. Upon inspection, the Santa Elena Rangers find illegally caught sea cucumber mixed with the rest of the catch. Faced with the threat of seizure, the fishers and boat captain become aggressive… Now what?

Most would expect the rangers to radio their control center to report the situation and request backup; However, up until recently, the Rangers did not have a reliable means of communication often relying on personal cell phones with limited reception.

With funding from the Stellar Blue Fund, WildAid supported the marine parks of Pacoche, Santa Elena and El Morro in the procurement of reliable communication equipment and the systematic training of Rangers in maritime operations. As most Rangers are trained in biology rather than enforcement operations, they lack the basic tactical skills and training to avoid the dangers associated with fisheries law enforcement. Compounding issues, many are often ill-equipped to perform their duties.

Since its installation, the communication system combined with specialized Ranger training has been a success in field operations at all three sites. In El Morro, Rangers now report feeling safer during patrols knowing that they can communicate at will with their control center as well as with the Navy. Contraband, fuel and drug trafficking are ubiquitous throughout coastal areas of Ecuador and a simple boarding of an unsuspecting vessel can quickly go wrong. With reliable communications, Rangers are also able to communicate from a distance with suspicious vessels to avoid dangerous encounters with armed fishers or traffickers.

In Pacoche, where patrols are severely limited by fuel costs and its large geographic area, the radios allow rangers more flexibility to conduct targeted patrols and interceptions. Rangers conducting beach patrols communicate with rangers at sea when they spot fishing vessels or other suspicious activity from shore, thus allowing the patrol boat to quickly intercept illegal fishing activities and prevent fuel waste.

Likewise, in Santa Elena, the communication system allows rangers to quickly gather information about the fishers they’ve intercepted by reporting fishing and boat license information to the control center as well as inform their colleagues to prepare for an arrest.

This work is part of a three-year project in Ecuador to reduce illegal fishing in six of its coastal marine protected areas. We are grateful for the support of the Sandler FoundationConservation International, the Walton Family Foundation, the Overbrook Foundation and the Steller Blue Fund in decreasing illegal fishing along Ecuador’s coast since 2014.


WildAid and Partners Host a Maritime Operations Training in Ecuador

WildAid hosts a maritime operations training for park rangers from 17 Ecuadorian marine protected areas and other marine practitioners to ensure surveillance and interdiction knowledge and safety at sea.

Park rangers in Ecuador risk their lives every day to protect marine areas from illegal fishing and destruction of critical habitat. Together with Conservation International, WWF, the Ecuadorian Ministry of Environment and the Galapagos National Park Service, WildAid hosted a maritime operations training for park rangers from 17 Ecuadorian marine protected areas, ministry of environment officials, fishery officers and other marine practitioners last month to ensure the rangers have the right knowledge to handle any situation that comes their way. Rangers often venture unarmed at night in the face of danger including armed illegal fishers and pirates, to protect Ecuador’s marine environment and endangered species. According to one of the Machalilla park rangers, even a simple task like retrieving a fishing net from the water comes fraught with risk.

Recently, the Machalilla park rangers conducted a night patrol near Isla de la Plata (where all fishing is prohibited) and spotted flashing lights in the water. They realized the lights were coming from an illegal gill net and were used to mark its position since the weighted net cannot be seen from the surface. The rangers waited for someone to retrieve it, but when nobody did, they pulled the 800-yard net onto their boat. While pulling up the net, they spotted four sea turtles entangled in the mesh and quickly released them back to the ocean—saving them from a slow death as incidental bycatch.

Bringing the gill net onboard the Machalilla ranger vessel (Machalilla National Park).

However, their actions did not go unnoticed, and other fishers on the water that night spread the word that rangers had confiscated fishing gear and were unaccompanied by armed Navy officials. The rangers realized they were being followed by angry fishers. They turned off their lights and called the Navy via radio to provide backup, while they found a safe place to land. Luckily the rangers escaped unharmed that night, but this story could have had a much different turnout had the rangers not realized they were being followed.

Unfortunately, stories like this are all too commonplace for the rangers protecting Ecuador’s waters. The use of simple tools like VHF radios and planning for emergency situations possibly saved lives that night. Together with partners, we provide the resources that these rangers need to fulfill their job and increase safety at sea. We also provide training that ensures effective planning, tactics to deal with dangers and to ensure that when they catch an illegal fisher, there are repercussions.

The workshop last month emphasized safety at sea, best practices for patrolling, evidence collection and boarding procedures. It also included hands-on exercises allowing the rangers to brainstorm ways to increase compliance, role-play different scenarios, learn new navigation techniques and ensure that illegal activities are penalized.

Boarding exercises with the rangers.

Enforcement of marine regulations ensures both sustainable fisheries and responsible tourism is being practiced in Ecuador’s coastal marine parks. Systematic training, a key component of our model, is vital for refreshing skills and fostering collaboration between enforcement agencies. It also gives the rangers the opportunity to prepare strategies to deal with risky situations, which are inevitable as they perform their duties.

Thanks to the support of our donors, WildAid has been working in coastal Ecuador since 2014 to strengthen enforcement, prevent illegal fishing and ensure the protection of its pristine marine environments.

Machalilla National Park and WildAid Partner to Save Humpback Whales

Park rangers in Ecuador’s Machalilla National Park have just completed their fourth year of rescuing humpback whales, which are often found entangled in fishing gear. So far, park rangers have saved 13 whales, including four rescues this year alone.

From June through September, humpback whales are a prominent sight along the coast of Ecuador where they travel thousands of miles to take advantage of the temperate waters to mate and birth their calves. Every June, the community of Puerto Lopez celebrates their return with the annual humpback whale festival. Their arrival is cause for celebration for the small community of Puerto Lopez, which heavily depends on revenue from whale watching tourism.

According to a study by the Pacific Whale Foundation, whale watching is one of world’s fastest-growing tourism sectors, and one that brings tens of millions of dollars in tourism revenue to coastal Ecuador. Nearly 60% of tourists in Machalilla are driven by the humpback whale breeding season off the coast of Isla de la Plata, making the park one of Ecuador’s top tourist destinations.

However, humpback whales and other large marine animals including sharks, sea turtles and mantas are threatened by unsustainable fishing methods, illegal fishing and climate change. Thousands of whales and cetaceans die every year as bycatch. Humpback whales, attracted by krill and small marine species, often get entangled in fishing lines or nets, which can cause the animals to drown.

In response, in 2013 Machalilla National Park authorities established a whale rescue unit that has been trained in procedures for entangled whales, using special tools to free them. The park rangers also developed an outreach component to inform tour operators and other boat captains about the program so that they can report whales in need of help.

Thanks to the support of our donors, WildAid is helping the park rangers at Machalilla to prevent illegal fishing, and also launch operational missions, including humpback whale rescues. We work directly with park rangers to train and support them in their work, underwrite operations, enforce tourism regulations, arrest illegal fishers and deliver outreach campaigns to educate local communities on the benefits of a healthy marine environment and the importance of reducing fishing pressures in specific areas.

Protecting Marine Wildlife in an Ecuadorian Sanctuary

An update on sea turtle conservation and marine patrols in Santa Elena MPA in Ecuador.

WildAid is visiting Ecuador’s coastal marine protected areas (MPAs) this week, where we’ve been working for the past year and a half with Conservation International. One of these sites is Santa Elena MPA, the western-most point of Ecuador and home to hundreds of species including humpback whales, sea turtles, sharks, mantas, albatrosses, pelicans and 86 fish species.

Injured blue footed booby nursed back to health by Santa Elena MPA park rangers (Ecuadorian Ministry of Environment).
Injured blue footed booby nursed back to health by Santa Elena MPA park rangers (Ecuadorian Ministry of Environment).

Fishing pressure has increased in Santa Elena since 2009 with the growth of artisanal and commercial fishing efforts that create conflicts between the two sectors and fishing modernization incentives that often endorse non-selective fishing gear. These types of gear are responsible for much of the bycatch in the area and threaten sea turtles, humpback whales and sharks that get caught on longlines or nets. Increasing tourism, currently an estimated 50,000 tourists per year, also threatens the ecosystems through pollution, destruction of habitats and the introduction of invasive species.

We developed an enforcement plan for Santa Elena that focuses on conservation priorities of the area. As per the plan, Santa Elena park wardens carry out both preventive and control measures to protect the reserve’s marine wildlife.

Preventive activities include identifying and protecting endangered sea turtle nests and releasing an estimated 3,000 hatchlings annually, organizing and conducting marine and coastal clean-ups to remove plastics and other debris, as well as conducting outreach activities geared towards local fishers and surrounding communities on park rules and regulations.

An important component of these activities is collecting data from stranded wildlife to track patterns in frequency and cause to identify new threats. Park rangers also nurse injured animals back to health and re-release them back to sea. Those that can’t be saved undergo necropsies to understand the cause of death and to develop preventative strategies.

Control activities include preventing commercial vessels from entering the reserve, monitoring tourism vessels, confiscating illegal gill nets to decrease bycatch of endangered species, such as humpback whales, as well as ensuring artisanal fishers comply with local sea cucumber, lobster and zoning regulations.

Over the past year, Santa Elena Rangers carried out over 225 maritime patrols with a total of 78 infractions broken down in the following manner. Approximately 73% of all cited infractions were sanctioned by the Provincial office. This is crucial as often times there is little to no follow-up or penalties associated with violations.

This year, WildAid will help them increase their patrols to further prevent the use of gill nets and increase the number of sea turtle hatchlings protected from predators and human interference. Building off our work in Pacoche MPA, we will aid park rangers in improving their signage and developing community education programs to encourage sea turtle conservation, as well as promote sustainable fishing methods.

Because of your support, WildAid helps protect endangered species in Ecuador.

Saving Injured Sea Turtles in Ecuador

WildAid partners with the Machalilla Wildlife Hospital to rescue and rehabilitate injured sea turtles and other marine wildlife on Ecuador’s coast.

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

The seven species of sea turtle found today have been around for 110 million years. Unfortunately, six of those species are listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List as endangered or critically endangered, primarily due to longline fisheries, harvesting of turtle meat and eggs, predation and habitat degradation, among others.

Did you know that the temperatures of the sand at sea turtle nesting sites determines the gender of the hatchlings? Cooler temperatures are mostly males and warmer temperatures are mostly females. (Laura Wais)

After spending many years at sea (females from different species reach maturity at different ages, with some as old as 20-50 years of age), sea turtles return to the same spots to nest– migrating as far as 1400 miles between their feeding and nesting grounds.

Ecuador’s beaches provide an ideal nesting spot for four sea turtle species (Green Turtles, Leatherbacks, Olive-Ridley and critically endangered Hawksbill sea turtles). Over the past year, we’ve partnered with park rangers along Ecuador’s coast on various sea turtle conservation projects that include underwriting at-sea patrols, removing abandoned drift nets, marking and protecting nests from predators, releasing more than 15,000 sea turtle hatchlings into the sea, and educating the local community about the importance of sea turtles.

Sea turtles, which can live up to 80 years, are an important part of a healthy marine ecosystem and can generate more than one million dollars in annual tourism revenue. This year, WildAid is expanding sea turtle conservation efforts by working with a grassroots wildlife rehabilitation hospital at Machalilla National Park that has treated nearly 150 sea turtles, 10 sea lions and 300 sea birds over the last four years.

Sea turtles treated in the wildlife rehabilitation hospital suffer from various injuries including lesions and internal damage by fishing hooks or from getting trapped in or consuming marine debris/plastics. The wildlife hospital volunteers treat injured marine wildlife from the entire country’s coast.

A sea turtle recovering in Machalilla’s wildlife hospital.

It is the only facility of its kind in Ecuador and was previously funded from t-shirt sales and donations from the community. With improved infrastructure and equipment provided by WildAid, the hospital will expand operations to provide more marine wildlife with a second chance at life. Currently, there are 17 resident turtles undergoing treatment and with our support, veterinarians will be able to treat up to 27 turtles over the next year.

Work with sea turtle populations provides an opportunity to inform our future work in Machalilla, as well as that of other regions. Data collected may include trends in wildlife injuries, infectious diseases, migration patterns, systemic medical issues, and human-animal interactions, among others. This data can help inform and educate tourism and fishing policy, and provide best practices for managing Ecuador’s MPAs and fisheries to conserve the country’s marine biodiversity.

Improved Surveillance to Protect Ecuador’s Manta Populations

WildAid and Conservation International achieve an important milestone in real-time monitoring of Ecuador’s marine environment with the installation of a long-range surveillance camera and real-time monitoring software (AIS) on Isla de la Plata.

The park rangers at Isla de la Plata, a part of Ecuador’s Machalilla National Park, now have increased protection for their waters. Nicknamed “Little Galapagos” by the locals, the uninhabited island off the mainland coast is home to five species of sea turtles, 20 species of whales and dolphins, hammerhead and whale sharks, and countless species of fish, corals and mollusks. It’s also home to the largest population of Giant Manta Rays (Manta birostris), estimated at 1,500 individuals.

Ecuador’s marine biodiversity is important not only for the health of the ocean, but also for the nation’s fishing and tourism industries. In a recent study, we estimated the value of manta tourism at approximately $140 million worldwide.

However, small-scale and commercial fishers frequently engage in illegal fishing that threatens mantas and the health of the marine environment. Trawl and long-line fishing, both popular in Ecuador, affect endangered sharks, sea birds and sea turtles. Unsustainable fishing methods also kill thousands of mantas around the world each year when caught as bycatch.

This month, WildAid and Conservation International achieved an important milestone in real-time monitoring of Ecuador’s marine environment with the installation of a long-range surveillance camera and real-time monitoring software (AIS) on Isla de la Plata. The long-range camera and AIS surveillance are part of a comprehensive marine protection plan that will help park authorities prevent illegal fishing in the area, helping to protect its abundant marine ecosystems.

Electronic surveillance tools provide park rangers with a more cost effective way to identify illegal vessels in the area, and quickly send their patrol boats to apprehend them. Video footage and AIS tracking are also great sources of evidence in environmental trials to ensure that illegal fishers can be fined and sentenced for their actions.

WildAid has already used tools such as these to help park rangers capture and sentence more than 100 industrial and small-scale fishing vessels in the Galapagos, such as the Fer Mary I that was caught with 350 illegally caught sharks in its hold. This system, which will be installed on Santa Clara Island later this year, will be tested on Isla de la Plata to evaluate its effectiveness for monitoring the larger coast of Ecuador.

This work is part of a three-year project in six MPAs in Ecuador to reduce illegal and unsustainable fishing. Our work includes a comprehensive marine protection plan for each site, regular patrols, training for rangers and fisher/ community outreach.

WildAid has helped decrease illegal fishing on Ecuador’s coast since 2014 thanks to the support of the Sandler FoundationConservation International, the Walton Family Foundation and the Overbrook Foundation.