Every year in the Galapagos Island, poachers illegally kill thousands of sharks, a practice that has brought sharks in the region to the edge of extinction. Elf Island, the virtual world that empowers kids to make a difference in the real world through online game play, this week announced its second GoodQuest,Ô challenging kids around the world to help protect these endangered animals through a partnership with WildAid, a non-profit working to stop the illegal "fining" of sharks in the Galapagos.
Edgar Muñoz, GNPS Park Director, Fernando Ortiz and Oswaldo Rosero, local representatives of the conservation organizations Conservation International and WildAid, respectively, recently met to review advances of the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) project for the Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR).
Currently, the project is in its final phase and over the next four months, we will procure and install the equipment and software required for the operation of the control center located at the GNPS Headquarters.
Newly installed satellite-based vessel monitoring system (VMS) has proved its worth already by leading to the arrest of illegal fishermen. The state-of-the-art system was financed and installed on May 20th,2009 by WildAid, Conservation International, the Walton Family Foundation, and Resorts World at Sentosa in cooperation with the Galapagos National Park Service and represents the culmination of three years of work.
B/P Milena, a fishing vessel from Manta, was observed entering the GMR at 1AM on Thursday, August 20th, and was spotted slowing down 37 miles south of Española via the satelite vessel monitoring system. The GNPS sent out the Sea Ranger 10 where it found the vessel towing seven additional fiberglass boats. The Milena was finally boarded five miles outside the GMR and possessed: 78 albacore, 110 swordfish, 1 marlin, 31 dolphin fish, & 21 sharks. The Milena, its crew of 26 and the seven fiberglass vessels were brought to San Cristobal where admin and legal procedures were initiated.
On Wednesday , February 10, 2010 Peter Knights, Executive Director of WildAid will address the TED Conference in Long Beach, California about the threats to marine protected areas and the successful enforcement chain developed by WildAid for the Marine Protected Area of the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
Misool Eco Resort (www.misoolecoresort.com) and WildAid announced today the creation of a 468 sq mile (1220 sq km) Marine Conservation Area in Raja Ampat, Indonesia. This has nearly tripled Misool Eco Resort’s164 sq mile (425 sq km) No-Take Zone, established in 2005. The combined Marine Conservation Area (MCA) now includes an adjoining archipelago of islands called Daram.
After 409 million years, are sharks really facing extinction for an Asian delicacy? If you ask Hawaii state Senator Clayton Hee, cutting the fins off a great white shark is no different than cutting the horn off a black rhinoceros. It's a barbaric practice, and the bounty should be treated as contraband. He's right.
California Assembly Members Paul Fong and Jared Huffman today introduced a bill to prohibit the sale of shark fins in California to the State Assembly. California is one of the largest sources of demand for shark fin outside Asia and this bill would represent a major step towards reducing pressure on shark populations. Furthermore the bill complements the ban introduced in both Hawaii and the Commonwealth of North Mariana Islands (CNMI) as well as restrictions established by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).