January 1, 2019
Galapagos sea lion photo © Steven Martine
Just before New Year’s Eve last year, the local governing council in Galapagos unanimously approved a resolution prohibiting “the importation, sale, distribution and use of fireworks or pyrotechnics in the Galapagos province.” Fireworks that produce light but no noise were excluded from the ban.
The measure was passed with the intention of protecting the Archipelago’s wildlife; according to the local council, “ecosystems as sensitive as the Galapagos Islands are affected (by fireworks), principally its unique fauna.” Animals have been found to experience elevated heart rates, nervous stress and anxiety from fireworks, which may change their behavior and ultimately impact their survival.
The local council also wants to avoid potential pollution of water sources and deterioration in air quality caused by fireworks by implementing the ban. A campaign to limit the use of fireworks on the Galapagos Islands was first launched in 2017.