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Our Friends in Ecuador Catch Illegal Poachers

The Sierra Negra Ranger vessel I had the privilege to serve on

The Sierra Negra Ranger vessel I had the privilege to serve on

The anti-poaching ship I served on in the Galapagos last year, the Sierra Negra Ranger vessel, managed to catch several illegal poaching vessels this month.

Many of the Sierra Negra’s crew are former fishermen themselves, who have gained a reverence for the ecosystem they were lucky enough to be given. Last year, while I served with them, we all created a secluded Ranger base at Wolf Island. The Sierra Negra has been making the trip to Wolf Island every few weeks to resupply and relieve the crew.

As the Sierra Negra was returning from a trip to Wolf Island on April 2nd, these dedicated Rangers came across several illegal poaching vessels. Deploying several small delta vessels, the Rangers caught three of the poaching ships on April 2nd and 3rd. One tuna and eight marlins were found on the poaching vessel’s longlines, and the three ships were confiscated.

(photo credit Marcel Wensveen)

(photo credit Marcel Wensveen)

The poachers themselves who were caught by the Sierra Negra talked about how worth it is for them to poach inside the Galapagos National Park. They talked about how seldom they get caught and how low the penalties are in the event they are caught.

Unfortunately, precedence says they’re right about the too-small punishments, so it’s important that we work to make poaching be considered a serious crime in the Galapagos. It’s also more important than ever to keep working with the Rangers to help them catch as many illegal longlining vessels as possible.


  1. Comment by


    on #

    less on Galapagos
    more on nyc

  2. Comment by

    Adnan Y.

    on #

    Great work on covering the situation with the poachers. Pretty much anywhere in the world that you have levels of poverty, you’re going to see more and more poachers who regard what they do as necessary to their survival – not realising that they’re not only affecting ecosystems, but shooting themselves in the foot, too.

    To Alan: Erm, you are aware that the rest of the website is covered in pieces concerning NYC, right?