Posted in Press Releases

Stopping the Pirates of the Galapagos

Conservation, travel groups unite to oppose illegal fishing, protect environment

Contact:

Michael McColl
Director of Communications
Ethical Traveler
michael@ethicaltraveler.org
+1 (510) 451 0267

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For Immediate Release

(San Francisco, CA) Tourism group Ethical Traveler and marine conservation group Sea Shepherd have joined forces to stop pirate fishing activities in the Galapagos and Cocos Island areas. The two groups are calling for a flood of letters from concerned travelers to strengthen government efforts to stop illegal fishing.

As Sea Shepherd Executive Director Paul Watson explains, “Both the Galapagos and Cocos Island areas are World Heritage sites, yet both are being ravished by poachers. Ecuador and Costa Rica must empower their park rangers to stop illegal fishing and preserve marine life.”

Ethical Traveler Executive Director Jeff Greenwald notes that “With the letter-writing feature of Ethicaltraveler.com, we make it easy for travelers around the world to quickly send a letter of concern to the officials charged with protecting these islands. In minutes travelers can have their voices heard by the people in Ecuador and Costa Rica whose job it is to prevent illegal fishing in these sensitive areas.”

Costa Rica is considered to be the most ecologically aware and most environmentally educated country in Central America. Despite this, its marine wildlife is being decimated by over-fishing and illegal fishing. As Watson explains, “Costa Rica’s Cocos Island National Park is seriously threatened by poachers. The marine eco-system is in trouble and the only thing that will save it is an aggressive, determined campaign by the new government of Costa Rica.”

Ethical Traveler’s Greenwald notes that “illegal fishing in the Galapagos and at Cocos Island has already lead to dramatic declines in populations of sharks, billfish, lobster, albatross and sea turtles. Stronger anti-poaching efforts must be undertaken now, before it is too late.”

The Galapagos Islands are located 625 miles west of Ecuador’s coastline in the Pacific Ocean. Cocos Island lies midway between the Galapagos Islands and the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

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About Ethical Traveler’s Mission:
Ethical Traveler is the first grassroots alliance uniting adventurers, tourists, travel agencies, and outfitters everyone who loves to travel, and sees travel as a positive force in the world. We feel that all travelers are, in effect, freelance ambassadors. By joining our voices and our economic power we seek to strengthen human rights and protect the environment.

About Sea Shepherd Conservation Society:
SSCS’s mission is the conservation and preservation of marine eco-systems and species. SSCS accomplishes this objective through public education, investigation, documentation and enforcement of international conservation law.

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Note to Editors: Photo and follow up interviews available upon request.

Resources:
UNESCO World Heritage Commission
Cocos Island Foundation
Ethical Traveler
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

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