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August 8, 2016
The Governing Council of Galapagos has taken a major step in improving the biosecurity of Galapagos and reducing the potential for the arrival of new invasive species. A 3 hectare (~2.5 acre) area of land in Guayaquil has been set aside for the Council to establish a single site for all maritime cargo bound for the Islands. This will allow for major improvements in the Galapagos quarantine system to ensure timely detection and elimination of new exotics prior to their arrival in the Archipelago.
“This area will house a single reception center for Galapagos-bound cargo, with improved controls and sanitary conditions. What we have long planned and hoped for will finally become a reality,” commented Eliecer Cruz, Minister and President of the Governing Council.
Dr. Marilyn Cruz, Executive Director of the Galapagos Biosecurity Agency (ABG), stressed the importance of having a collection and quarantine center for Galapagos-only cargo. “It is important for the success of ABG’s efforts to have a single space for cargo consolidation with improved inspections to minimize the risk of exotic species entering the province,” she said.
Invasive species constitute the single greatest threat to the native ecosystems of Galapagos, and continued improvements in the current quarantine system are vital to the long-term protection of the Islands. A single freight consolidation center for Galapagos-only cargo has long been a major goal of both the Governing Council and the ABG. Today, we saw a major step toward making that goal a reality.
Photo © ABG