|Thursday, June 03, 2004|
Galapagos Under Siege!! Report by Captain Paul Watson 1800 hrs. PST
( Darwin Research Station, Santa Cruz & Isabella Islands, Galapagos, Ecuador )
Sea Shepherd crew members held hostage by angry mob of fishermen demanding unrestricted exploitation of Sea Cucumbers
The offices of the National Park on Santa Cruz Island and the offices of the National Park on Isabella Island have been taken over by angry mobs of fishermen.
Also taken were the island of Espanola and the tourist sites there. The mob is armed with clubs, lead pipes, & Molotov cocktails. Our unarmed Sea Shepherd Crew had a standoff lasting hours until just recently when the rangers & all persons were ordered out by the Ministry of the Environment, basically leaving the office in the hands of the Mob.
Some of the Marines & the Police are still there but it's a very touchy situation. Apparently there is help coming from the mainland.
However, our Sea Shepherd crew on Isabella Island is still being held hostage there, and that includes citizens from America, Canada, New Zealand and Sweden. There has been no word from them at the time of this release.
People are getting weary of this mob rule... anytime the fishermen make demands; they simply use violence to get what they want.
They were given a quota of 4 million sea cucumbers, that's not enough for them, even though the scientists have said that none was too many. Now the fishermen are demanding unrestricted exploitation which is an impossible demand .
The fact is that the Galapagos Islands are a World Heritage site. We all have a responsibility to protect them, not just the Ecuadorians!
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is asking that people write, fax, or e-mail the Ecuadorian government through the embassies in their countries and demand that the government stand up to the mob of violent thugs terrorizing the Galapagos.