Archive for the ‘Galapagos news’ Tag

Ecuador on Alert for possible Pacific Ocean waves reaching 4m   Leave a comment

AUGUST 11th, 2011  13h30

The Ecuadorian government has issued an “Orange Alert” for the southern Pacific Coastal region (where waves could reach between 2 to 4 meters – according to local news sources, and has just included the Galapagos Islands (where waves could reach 2 to 3 meters in height – according to local news sources here in Quito).

The timing is not ideal as we head into a holiday long weekend, and a good majority of the major city inhabitants tend to flock to the coast during this period.

Spanish news link:

14h30 INOCAR (National Oceanographic Institute) is predicting the strong possibility that the strong waves that hit the coast of Chile & Peru yesterday will arrive on the coast of Ecuador later this afternoon, with waves 2 to 2.5 m.  Forecasts for August 12 predictstronger and larger waves (>2.5 m), while those for August 13 predict that the waves will start to diminish and end in the evening of August 14th.

15h03 From local media source Telegrafo: COEN (National Emergency Operations Committee) has started limited evacuations of southern coastal regions of Ecuador, particularly the province of El Oro.  In addition, the government is permitting people to visit the coastal regions during the holiday long weekend (Friday to Sunday) but swimming in the sea will not be permitted .. along with any aquatic sports, fishing or whale watching.

Any further updates will be posted here:

357 Sharks illegally captured in the Galapagos Islands   1 comment

Original Spanish news source: Parque Nacional Galapagos (PNG)

A Total of 357 sharks were counted aboard the ‘Fer Mary I’

357 sharks were found aboard the FER MARY I

Technicians and authorities of the Galapagos National Park (DPNG), Navy, National Police conducted an inspection of the fishing boat ‘Fer Mary I’ detained for illegal fishing in the Galapagos Islands.

The ‘Fer Mary I’ and its six smaller fishing boats were detained 20 miles within the archipelago, to the east of the northern island of Genovesa, by the Galapagos National Park boat ‘Sea Ranger 02’ – with assistance from the Ecuadorian Navy.  The captured vessel was escorted to the port town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristobal Island) in the evening.

The smaller vessels detained accompanying the ‘Fer Mary I’ were F/M Siempre Virgen de Monserrate, F/M Narcisa de Jesús, F/M Keyla Yeannely, F/M Heyder Josue, F/M Nuevo Destino II and F/M Siempre José.

At 17h30 local authorities conducted inspections to identify the catch aboard.  The final inventory determined the following: 357 sharks, 11 dorados, 9 albacores & 1 sword fish.  The species of shark identified were:

  • 286 Bigeye Thresher (Alopias superciliosus);
  • 22 Blue sharks (Prionace glauca);
  • 40 Galapagos sharks (Carcharinus galapaguensis);
  • 6 Hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna lewini);
  • 2 Tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvieri);
  • 1 Mako shark (Isurus oxirrinchus)
The Galapagos National Park authorities have initiated the respective legal and administrative processes to determine the corresponding sanctions, destination planned for vessels etc.
The Galapagos Marine Reserve prohibits the capture, commercialization and transportation of sharks.

Santa Fe Islands temporarily closed from June 5th to 7th 2011   Leave a comment

According to the latest Galapagos National Park resolution (No.033-2011) the island of Santa Fe will be closed off from June 5th to 7th, 2011.

According to the resolution, this temporary closure of Santa Fe Island is to realize a monitor/study of emblematic species such such as iguanas, rats, marine birds, Opuntia cactus, species in danger and other aspects of the current conditions on th island.

Boats that are scheduled to visit this island during this period (June 5th to 7th 2011) will visit the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center.

Galapagos Islands Tourist Boat Gets Stranded   3 comments

April 27, 2011

Having picked up on unconfirmed and very vague news (via local television) that a vessel in the Galapagos Islands got stranded off the coast of Isabela Island, I started to get my feelers out there.

As I keep my ears to the ground, I have managed to ascertain & confirm with the direct operator of this vessel (Eric) that indeed there was a minor incident that occurred off the coast of Isabela Island, causing the boat to get “stranded” (the actual Spanish term used was varado). All passengers and crew were efficiently and safely removed from the vessel without any incidents.

The boat will apparently be out of commission for approximately one month to make the necessary repairs.

Details on this particular boat [LINK]

Galapagos Islands Tourist Boat ‘Eric’Gets Stranded


April 28th update (original Spanish article in El Universo)
“Galapagos boat ran aground with 31 people”

The tourist boat Eric, carrying 31 people on board, including 20 passengers and 11 crew, ran aground early yesterday morning in Punta Cordova, north of Santiago Island in the Galapagos archipelago.

Until the closure of this edition the ship remained trapped in a rocky area where it ran aground at 01:15, said Lt. Edwin Aguilar, in charge of the Port Captain of the island of Baltra, who said the incident caused no injuries .

The strandings took place because of  “fatigue” of the crew, said Aguilar, as they did not realize what could occur in this rocky area.

But at the moment a final report is pending, said the official.

“At the moment we take steps in saving human lives”, citing Aguilar.

Passenger in hotel …

The 20 passengers on board were brought to Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island), where they were staying in an undisclosed hotel, whose name was not released by the officer.

Meanwhile, efforts to remove the ship, about 25 meters (length), were unsuccessful. During the day, the work of the Port Captain of Baltra and the National Directorate of Aquatic Areas (DIRNEA) focused on “lightening” the boat to get out of the site.  This involves removing heavy objects such as furniture and other combustible materials.  For this purpose, several barges are being used.

Towing the vessel pending …

At 18:00, Aguilar said they would wait until 23:00 to try to tow the boat, because at that time the tide would be high. “If not, between 10:00 and 11:00 tomorrow (today, April 28th),” quoted the officer.

According to sources,  the boat (Eric) left Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristobal Island) on Monday.  A few hours before the grounding the boat sailed from the northern island of Genovesa in the direction of Puerto Egas on Santiago Island, east of Isabela Island.

Staff of the Galapagos National Park (GNP) also went into action at the site of the accident to realize a report of what happened. Meanwhile, relevant official authorities – which control the operation of tourism companies – realized that the registration of the ship is TN-00-00123.

Fuel costs for certain Galapagos Islands vessels to increase 30%   Leave a comment

You probably have already heard the news, the Ecuadorian government has announced new measures effective this month (April 2011) that will increase the cost of diesel nearly 30% only for certain vessels operating in the Galapagos Islands.

We will keep readers up to date as official, confirmed details become available.  In addition, we will inform readers which Galapagos Islands cruise operators are directly effected and the associated measure they are taking.

For example, the operators of the sister boats Eric, LEtty, Flamingo have just communicated the following …

You probably have already heard the news, the Ecuadorian government has announced new measures effective this month that will increase the cost of diesel nearly 30% only for certain vessels operating in the Galapagos Islands.  Instead of tacking on a “fuel surcharge” (we abhor that word and assume you do as well), and in an effort not to pass along additional costs to the consumer, we at Ecoventura prefer to revise the structure of our promotions offered going forward. Additional savings has been eliminated entirely, some departure dates have been removed and the amount of discounts have been reduced. All confirmed reservations are locked in and have received a really good deal by booking early. All cabins under option have until April 12 to confirm and receive the former discounts.

Galapagos Islands news: Rabida Island temporarily closed (Jan.7 – 28/11)   1 comment

According to Resolution no.0071 issued by the Galapagos Islands National Park Directive on December 30th, 2010, the Island of Rabida will be temporarily closed to tourists from January 7th through to January 28th, 2011.

De acuerdo a la resolución 0071 emitida por la Dirección del Parque Nacional Galápagos con fecha 30.12.10, se dispone el cierre temporal para uso turístico del sitio de visita Rábida durante el periodo 07 al 28 de enero del 2011.

Over 100 boats operating in tourism in the Galapagos Islands without permission   3 comments

Original source: EL UNIVERSO

Original title: Cien lanchas hacen turismo sin permisos en Galápagos
Original author: José Olmos

A hundred boats without permits in tourism in Galapagos
By Jose Olmos

Credit: El Universo

In Galapagos there are 134 licensed boats for sightseeing, but at least another 102 are working on a non-regularized/authorized manner and offer various options, with costs up to two times lower. For example, a daily tour from Santa Cruz to Floreana Island is USD $135 per person, while non-regulated operations charge USD $70. Faced with this reality there is a push and pull of those involved. Legal & authorized operators complain; the Galapagos National Park (GNP) recognizes the problem and says it wants to find a way out of this dilemma; the Environment Minister, Marcela Aguiñaga, says there is “a misperception created by quasi operadores …”. The Navy says it has issued at least fifteen citations in two months for illegal tourism operations.

To reduce pressure on the Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR), for the past five years, has been advocating for change in activity of some 1,100 local fishermen. Rafael Correa’s government delivered 24 fishing permits for experiential tourism purposes. But a dozen of these offer tourism services other than those authorized, such as scuba diving. Some fifty or so local fishermen that do not have the necessarry permits are also dedicating themselves to tourism.

There are 80 cargo/transport boats registered by the Navy in the islands. This is the fluvial transportation from port to port, but 40 of these are devoted to tourism and offer daily tours, including diving and visits to recreational sites.

This reality is lived while marking three years of UNESCO listing the Galapagos Islands on the World Heritage list of endangered sites, and while President Rafael Correa declared the archipelago as a risk zone in order to take the necessary steps to recover the category of Natural Heritage of Humanity.

Galapagos has special and strict rules to preserve and protect the land and marine reserves. There are 83 boats with capacity between 16 and 100 passengers who have permits. Other 9, with maximum capacity of 16, have room for bay and diving tours. For the past five months, 18 more managaed to win permits through a contest.

But in Puerto Ayora, San Cristobal and Isabela, the offer is diverse. In Puerto Ayora, a woman approached and mutters: “Where do you travel? Want a tour of the bay or to go to some other island?” There are other men and women, at least five, also ready to make your offer.

A tourist asks for a tour of Floreana Island. She says that is a tour from eight in the morning until six in the afternoon, that there one can snorkel and visit interesting places, with lunch included. The cost is USD $70 per person. The trip, she says, will be on the boat ‘Luna Azul’ (Blue Moon). But the Blue Moon is not a tourist boat but cargo/transport boat, and is one of at least 40 such units engaged tours. That same trip in a boat authorized costs USD $135.

The Sulidae is a yacht that, since 2008 has had cargo/transport permission, but also does tourism related tours. David Balfour van Hosen and David Balfour Arízaga, its owners, sold their ‘cupo’ (operating licence) back in December 2007 to the operator ‘Etica’ of Roque Sevilla – who, by merging with a similar permission for the ‘Mistral’ boat legalized the operation of the ship ‘La Pinta’ – a 48 passengers vessel, by decision of the Ministry of Environment, led by Aguiñaga.

Each day, the port of Puerto Ayora is a kind of market where you are offered, informally, many forms of land and marine tourism, such as bay tours, diving, snorkel or cruise between islands and even fishing.

Among the 50 fishermen involved in tourism in the islands there are 5 in Puerto Ayora offering their boats for any type of tourism – these being Jorge Aguirre Cobos, Antonio Santana Burgos, Jorge Cordova Holguin, Lider Santos Zavala Velez and Galo Cedeno. The latter, owner of Bella Union II boat, said to have families to support and not hurt anyone. “We also have asked for permission from fishing to tourism. The PNG has given us permission to work, although only informally (orally), but the Port Authority prohibits us from doing bay tours.”

… more of this article translation to come shortly

Posted April 22, 2010 by sangay in GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

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