Costa Rica fishing boat stopped in Galapagos

Galapagos Shark

The Ecuadorian navy has seized  the Rosa I Costa Rican fishing boat with a cargo of shark meat in the Galapagos Islands.  The Rosa I was stopped about 104 nautical miles northwest of Darwin Island with 75 pieces of shark meat aboard according to Ecuavisa Television.

The waters surrounding the islands is the protected Galapagos Marine Reserve established to protect the 3000 species of marine plants and animals in the region.  Natives of the Galapagos are granted special permits to fish on a small scale in these waters from the Galapagos Marine Reserve.   In order to protect the environment the waters surrounding the Galapagos are closed to both international fisherman as well as fisherman from the continent.

The fishing boat, which was intercepted by a coast guard cutter, had five crewmen and a dog aboard.  Currently navy investigators are trying to determine whether the sharks were caught inside or outside the islands, which are a protected marine reserve.

The sharks were caught in international waters, but the captain stated the vessel was forced to enter the Galapagos due to an emergency with the main engine.

The Rosa I and its crew earn a living from shark fishing, which is allowed in Costa Rica, Bonilla said, adding that each piece of shark meat brings between $60 and $70 locally.

This is the fourth Costa Rican boat stopped for illegal fishing in the Galapagos this year.

Learn more about what you can do to help stop Shark Finning.

Source :

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Starbucks & Galapagos Coffee…

Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) today announced the launch of Starbucks Reserve?, a line of ultra-premium, single-origin coffees available in select U.S. stores this fall. Chosen by Starbucks coffee buyers for their unique flavors and rarity, Starbucks Reserve? coffees will be offered in limited quantities and while supplies last in select stores within metropolitan markets including New York City, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Boston, Seattle, Portland, Ore., Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Miami.

The first offering, Galápagos San Cristóbal, originated on San Cristóbal, one of the oldest geological locations within the Galápagos Islands. The subtropical region’s intense microclimate, rich volcanic soil and equatorial sun create ideal conditions for extraordinary coffee. Influenced by these environmental characteristics, Galápagos San Cristóbal is a medium-bodied coffee that features fresh flavors and highlights of green herbs balanced by soft cocoa and spice.

For More Go To Source...

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Galapagos : Tour operator’s failings led to diver’s death

Source : Kent News UK

An experienced diver lost her life on a dream trip to the Galapagos Islands after a series of basic failures by tour organisers, a coroner has ruled.

Gillingham-born Donna Newton, 40, died after running into difficulties during a dive off the scenic Pacific islands on Tuesday, October 6 last year.

Mid Kent Coroner Roger Sykes said vital procedures to ensure underwater safety were not followed.

Donna should have been accompanied by a dive buddy who is supposed to help if she got into difficulty.

But the buddy swam off on her own.

The tour’s divemaster also failed to watch over them.

A radio equipment tuned to an emergency beacon carried by divers was also found to not be switched on.

In his damning verdict Mr Sykes said: “Her dive master failed to keep watch over her and her dive buddy.

“Her dive buddy failed to signal to Donna and the dive master that she had to ascend early and the dive master failed to notice that Donna had a loss of buoyancy control on her ascent probably caused by vomiting into her mask and mouthpiece.

“These were serious failures to conform to recognised diving practices.”

Donna was last seen swimming behind some turtles 30 metres below the surface. It was some time before Divemaster Fabricio Carbo noticed she was missing. She was found floating on her back with her mask off and blood and vomit around her nose.

Her buoyancy jacket was inflated and she’d operated her emergency beacon but the receiver aboard the dive boat was switched off.

Her mum Diana says her daughter’s death should be a warning to others.

She said: “If I can stop another family going through the hell we have endured since October then it is something.

“Donna was superfit and would regularly swim a mile before breakfast. We couldn’t go out to talk to the dive master because of the cost.

“She worked hard and saved the money only to die like that. I felt helpless. My daughter was thousands of miles away and I didn’t know what had happened until two days later. I miss her very much.”

Donna was no unfit amateur. Her dive computer showed 51 faultless dives, she’d been a qualified dive master since 2004 and had run the London Marathon and the London to Brighton bike race. She’d climbed mountains and hand glided.

She had won an engineer of the year award and was highly regarded by friends at Thales, a specialist defence contractor where she worked.

Donna was in Indonesia when the tsunami struck and stayed to help rebuild the village she was staying in.

Mr Cole, a veteran of 10,000 dives since 1955 told the inquest: “When first time visitors dive the Galapagos their eyes are like saucers. It’s incumbent on the dive master to watch his charges like a sheep dog.

“Control broke down people were doing their own thing and I don’t think the dive master knew what Donna was doing.

“Her dive buddy, an American woman, had no excuse to go off on her own leaving Donna behind. I do not think there was much dive discipline going on. She was fighting for her life and nobody realised due to the dive master’s sloppiness. “

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Galapagos Islands Environment Controversy

Galapagos Tortoises in the Wild

Portions translated from El Universal

The decision to remove Galapagos Islands from UNESCO’s endangered list has created a controversy with other environmental organizations concerned about the well being of the island’s ecosystem.

Yesterday, the International Union for Conservation of Nature ( IUCN ) considered “premature” UNESCO resolution stating that “tourism , fisheries and species introductions are still a danger to the living laboratory of evolution. “

“The threats of tourism, invasive species and over-fishing still exist. We recognize the efforts of the authorities and there has been progress, but we would like to see the work completed, “said Tim Badman , Head of World Heritage Program IUCN.

This is a position shared by  Oswaldo Rosero, the head WildAid, argued that the programs promoted by the Government are still inconclusive and that the declaration could be neglected.

He noted, for example, persistent failures than controls of tourist boats that operate without permission.

Deborah Chiriboga, environmentalist also criticized the management of the islands because , in her view , is political , not technical. She explained that a vision prevails and conservation planning

She found that many problems facing Galapagos whose solutions will not come urgently to be out of the list of endangered heritage. Both were concerned that the decision of UNESCO will be exposed only as a political achievement.

Meanwhile, Maria Fernanda Espinosa from the Heritage Ministry yesterday lamented what she called ” slanderous criteria of some international environmental groups ” about what problems remain in the islands.

She said that in three years of government have made significant progress, although there are still major challenges: ” To improve and refine the operation Agrocalidad controlling invasive species and migration control systems, ensure the quality of life for Galapageños with local government and consolidate a model of tourism. “

Washington Tapia, director of the Galapagos National Park admitted that there are challenges to meet , but noted that maintains high levels of Galapagos conservation. He said that conservation does not mean, ” keep the islands in a box. ” ” If there are people there is no risk. “


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Ecuador : Cash for Environmental Proteccion

Yasuni Parrot LickAfter years of news about the Chevron case and the recent nationalization of oil in Ecuador,finally some positive news from Quito in regards to environmental protection of the Amazon Rainforest.

Over the weekend the Ecuadorian government announced that it would sign a deal with the United Nations Development Program under which donor countries will pay Ecuador for not drilling in the Yasuni National Park.

Yasuni is the country’s largest nature reserve, a UNESCO biosphere site.   There are an estimated 846 barrels of oil under the national park and in exchange for a minimum of 3.5 billion dollars (representing ½ of the oil’s value) President Rafael Correa has agreed not to drill in the area rather leaving the area pristine and protecting the environment.  Between 1.5 and 1.7 billion dollars had been pledged so far, with Germany (910 million) and Spain (241.8 million) leading the pack of donors that included France, Sweden and Switzerland.  Correa further stated that if the international community does not come up with the funds Petroamazonas a division of the state-run Petroecuador would begin development of the area.

This is a new approach by President Correa to protect the environment yet to fund a country the local people of the area that are living in poverty.

Located downriver from the town of Coca, Yasuni is in the heart of the Ecuador’s Amazon and provides wonderful wildlife opportunities.  The Yasuni Parrot Lick is a highlight for visitors of visitors to the Amazon Rainforest including those visiting the Napo Wildlife Center and Sacha Lodge.

We can only hope that the international community comes up with the funds to pay-off the local government and protect the Amazon environment.

Source :

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Galapagos removed from UNESCO endangered list

BRASILIA, Brazil — The Galapagos Islands have been removed from the UNESCO list of sites endangered by environmental threats or overuse.

The island chain, about 620 miles (1,000 kms) off Ecuador’s coast, is home to unique animal species that inspired Charles Darwin’s ideas on evolution.

In 2007, the United Nations body included the World Heritage site on its endangered list because of damage from tourism, immigration and invasive species.

A UNESCO committee meeting in Brazil Wednesday said strong action by Ecuador’s government to battle these problems means the Galapagos Islands are now safer.

Being on the danger list “allows UNESCO to allocate immediate assistance from the World Heritage Fund to the endangered property,” UNESCO’s website said.

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Not much to do with Galapagos, but…

I thought that a good laugh doesn’t hurt with all those depressing news thrown at us on a daily basis…Read the sign till the end. Enjoy…

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Your signature is important! Thank you. Rene Heyer

Right now, the International Whaling Commission is meeting in Agadir, Morocco to vote on a proposal that would legalize commercial whale hunting for the first time since 1986.

The global public is against this proposal, but pro-whaling countries are pushing for it hard. Let’s make sure our voices are heard.

Avaaz has a team on the ground in Agadir setting up billboards, publishing front-page newspaper ads, and building a giant, constantly-updating petition counter to show that the world’s people oppose whale slaughter.

Let’s give this campaign a massive boost! Help reach 1 million signatures — sign the petition below, and pass it along to everyone you know:

To parties of the International Whaling Commission:
As citizens from around the world, we call on you to retain the international ban on commercial whaling as the core policy of the International Whaling Commission in its pursuit of conservation of whales.
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BU Abroad: Finding the Galapagos (Must-See Video)

Source : BU Abroad.  A must to check the short video in the original text or in (YouTube) where Jaclyn Aliperti (CAS´10) explains why the Galapagos Islands are every naturalist´s must-see. Congratulations, Well Done! Rene

A visit to the islands where modern biology incubated

By Devin Hahn. Text by Benjamin Hall

“After spending time doing research in the tropics, I realized how much I’ve grown to love obtaining hands-on experience in the field,” says Jaclyn Aliperti.

Aliperti (CAS’10) spent last spring in the Ecuador Tropical Ecology Program, studying in the field and at Universidad San Francisco de Quito. “My time in Ecuador allowed me to immerse myself in Ecuadorian culture,” she says, “and take away a better understanding of the language, ideals, and way of life.”

The highlight of her experience, though, was a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands, “the place,” Aliperti says, “that ties everything together for me.” Like Darwin and countless naturalists before her, she reveled in the biodiversity found in the archipelago. “That such a small country could preserve and protect such biodiversity is something to look up to,” she says.

Seeing blue-footed boobies dance, swimming with sea lions, and witnessing sea turtles mate resonated deeply with Aliperti, who intends to study wildlife management after BU. “After college,” she says, “I hope to integrate my passion for the environment with my passion for animals in a way that allows me to conserve and/or medically treat wildlife.”

Devin Hahn can be reached at

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Galapagos : Hydrokinetic Energy for Electric Power Production

Source MSR…

How Hydrokinetic Energy Works

Waves crashing on the beach and rivers rushing through a sloping valley are forces of nature. The power of moving water is obvious to anyone who has stood amidst breaking waves or struggled to swim against a river’s current. New technologies can enable us to harness the might of moving water to help light our homes and keep our ice cream cold in the freezer without building new dams that can have major impacts on wildlife and water quality.

The use of water power dates back thousands of years to the water wheels of Ancient Greece, which used the energy in falling water to generate power to grind wheat. We now are presented with an opportunity to develop a new generation of water power, one that will harness the abundant energy of our oceans and rivers.

For more about this New Energy Technology go to :

Clean Energy. Well worth a click. RH

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