The president of Ecuador, Lucio Gutierrez, has removed Director Naula, a professional biologist and dedicated defender of the park, and replaced him with a pro-fishing, pro-development, anti-conservationist named Fausto Cepeda.
This move will bring to an end the dedicated work by the National Park to protect the Galapagos National Park Marine Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, from illegal fishing activities. In short, the marine life of the Galapagos will be devastated if this appointment stands.
Edwin Naula must be reinstated. The president of Ecuador is bowing to political pressure from fishermen, many of whom have just recently moved to the Galapagos after the crash of the fishing industry on the mainland.
The tourist industry actually brings far more money into the Galapagos economy than fishing. The tourist industry has been very silent about what is happening in the Park. The government of Ecuador must be aware that they can't kill the goose that lays the golden egg and that the fishermen will be the decline of tourism in the future.
The impact of the decline in tourism must be felt and appreciated now before it is too late. Therefore, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is urging people around the world not to visit the Galapagos until Director Edwin Naula is reinstated.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is also urging people to write, fax, call or email the president of Ecuador with a strong message of support for the Galapagos National Park Director Edwin Naula. He must be reinstated and the fight to protect the Galapagos from corruption, illegal exploitation and mob violence by fisherman must continue.
National Park Rangers are now on strike in support of Edwin Naula. All of us who care about the preservation of these profoundly unique islands must support the rangers and Director Edwin Naula.
Since 2000, the SSCS, working with the National Park, has intercepted and arrested dozens of illegal fishing vessels and seized thousand of shark fins in illegal catches.
The appointment of this pro-fishing anti-conservation director will put an end to our program of cooperation and our fast patrol vessel will be unable to support conservation efforts in the Galapagos in the future.
The Galapagos National Park has seen crisis after crisis - each more violent and threatening than the last. This present crisis is the most serious to date. It will mark the first time that the political appointment of a National Park Director has been authorized and the first time that the President of Ecuador has directly intervened to shut down conservation in the National Park.
Sea Shepherd urges you to contact these officials and express your support of Edwin Naula:
Presidente Lucio Gutierrez
Palacio de Gobierno
Garcia Moreno 1043
Fax: (593 2) 580-735
Fabian Valdivieso Eguiguren
Minister of the Environment
Avenue Eloy Alfaro and Amazon
Telephone(s): (593 2) 2563429 or 2563430
Gladys Eljuri De Alvarez
Minister of Tourism of Ecuador
Eloy Alfaro N32-300 Carlos Tobar
Telephone(s): (593 2) 2507559 or 2507560 or 2228304 or 2228305
Fax: (593 2) 2229330