June 16, 2015
Park rangers from the San Cristóbal Technical Unit counting sea cucumbers,
which were held at the Island’s airport, during a joint operation with the Ministry of Interior.
Six boxes containing 578 lbs. (262.8 kg.) of sea cucumbers were confiscated at the San Cristóbal airport as a result of ongoing cargo control activities to prevent the illegal departure of protected species from the archipelago.
Sea cucumbers are protected in the Galapagos Marine Reserve and their removal is currently banned indefinitely as part of mechanisms implemented by the Ministry of Environment, through the Galapagos National Park (GNP), which aim to preserve and protect this species and their natural habitat.
The cargo discovery was made during an operation executed on the morning of Tuesday, June 16, at the airport on San Cristóbal Island, where officials detected the load without proper documentation. Park rangers, with the assistance of the National Police, opened the boxes and identified 10,852 sea cucumbers.
It is presumed that this cargo was destined for Guayaquil. Further investigation identified three individuals as senders of the cargo, which was to be sent to a single recipient. The packages were transferred to the San Cristóbal Technical Unit of the GNP, where each carton was weighed and the species were identified as Isostichopus fuscus and Isostichopus horrens.
The Ministry of Environment has launched an investigation through the Galapagos National Park to identify and punish all responsible for this environmental crime, which violates the Constitution.
Translated with permission from the Galapagos National Park.