Over the years, human’s peaceful coexistence with nature has been jeopardized by everyday human activities such as the illegal killing of thousands of animals, pollution of the environment, depletion of natural resources such as water, energy, and minerals, as well as illegal fishing. One of the most invasive and adverse methods through which humans interfere with nature is illegal fishing, and this is catapulted by people’s belief that the marine world is almost inexhaustible. A serious problem of illegal fishing can be found in the Galapagos Marine Reserve at the Galapagos Islands located in the Pacific Ocean and under the administration of the Ecuadorian government. This practice targets primarily sharks, tuna, and martin with researchers indicating that more than 5,000 of coastal pelagic sharks were killed between 1998 and 2007 (Carr et al., 2013). Learning more about, preventing, and having people make a difference can be important when it comes to eliminating the menace of illegal fishing at the Galapagos Islands. Officials in government and non-governmental organizations, as well as those with power to make changes and call the shots will all benefit from learning about the factors that influence illegal fishing in the region and what can be done to eliminate the same.
One of the key officials targeted when it comes to the elimination of illegal fishing at the Galapagos Islands is Elizabeth Wilson, who currently is the director of Pew’s international ocean policy program and leads Pew’s engagement in international forums including the UN, regional fisheries management organizations, as well as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Wilson is a perfect choice, in this case, because of her stand in the protection of endangered species in marine and inland environments globally. She has held myriads of discussions on the need for environmental impact assessments and area-based management on the high seas, which includes the potential for marine protected areas such as the Galapagos Islands. The plan is to try to get Elizabeth Wilson to push for the enactment and formulation of policies that prohibit illegal fishing in the Galapagos Islands and other areas facing related risks.
Another target for the elimination of the illegal fishing menace at the Galapagos Islands is Minister Lorena Tapia. She is the current Minister of Environment of Ecuador, and her stands on environmental protection cannot be ignored, and this one of the reasons behind her selection in this case. She and other members of the Environment Ministry of Ecuador are concerned with developing environmental policy and coordinating strategies and programs that aim at conserving key components of the natural ecosystem such as the Galapagos Islands. The plan is to try to get Lorena Tapia to fully enforce and implement already enacted legislations and policies such as that of arresting and charging individuals found guilty of illegal fishing at the Galapagos Islands (Schiller et al., 2015).
Irina Bokova is also a key target when it comes to eliminating environmental issues such as illegal fishing currently experienced at the Galapagos Islands. She is the director of UNESCO and has played a crucial role in the protection and conservation of the environment. Her role in the protection of the Galapagos Islands was evident when she made the region a UNESCO World Heritage Centre, and currently, it is one of the largest heritage centers worldwide (Schiller et al., 2015). Of course, Bokova has resources available and power, which are crucial to getting the perception of the public about illegal fishing at Galapagos Islands. With these resources and power, she can get valuable information on how to solve or address illegal fishing in the region. As such, the plan is to have her use her power and resources to ensure that laws are passed to help with the solution of illegal fishing at Galapagos Islands.
Carr, L. A., Stier, A. C., Fietz, K., Montero, I., Gallagher, A. J., & Bruno, J. F. (2013). Illegal shark fishing in the Galapagos Marine Reserve. Marine Policy, 39, 317-321.
Schiller, L., Alava, J. J., Grove, J., Reck, G., &Pauly, D. (2015). The demise of Darwin’s fishes: evidence of fishing down and illegal shark finning in the Galápagos Islands. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 25(3), 431-446.