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March 30, 2018
Following the discovery of an illegal shipment of 3,600 sea cucumbers at Baltra airport in 2016, which was intended to be sent to Guayaquil, local authorities identified the need to improve security at control checkpoints — such as guidelines for the mobilization of authorized marine resources.
Beginning this month, the Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPD) implemented a modern system for issuing mobilization guides involving a mobile application developed by Galapagos Tech and the connection of a smart phone with a thermal printing device, which issues a secure document.
GNPD ranger Jules Paredes explained that previously, Park rangers carried a book with 100 hand-written guides which included user’s personal information, the type of species that s/he wanted to send to the continent, its weight, quantity, and destination of the shipment. This information would then be entered into an institutional database the following day by that ranger or a colleague at the Park.
“This caused a loss of time while the Park ranger recorded the information on the computer or tried to understand his colleague’s guides,” remembers Paredes.
Safety and Speed
The new system verifies user information with an identity card, thanks to the database of the Civil Registry. The information is synchronized and automatically entered into the fishing register of the environmental authority. The tool also verifies the frequency of guides requested by a single person. According to the management measures, a user can request guides up to a maximum of 60 pounds of fish, and in the case of shrimp the maximum is 10 pounds of tail or 10 whole individuals, per day, if it were the case.
The new guide has security measures such as a quick response code (QR) that can be read by the Park rangers who perform control activities at the airport, institutional logos, and special ink that is not affected by humidity.
“We are making use of technology to improve the control and management capacity of the institution, and systematizing these processes will always be an advance,” commented Jorge Carrión, Director of the GNPD.
Currently the system has been implemented in Santa Cruz, where users can request the guides at the fishermen’s wharf and the municipal wharf Monday through Friday. In the future, it will also be replicated in the cantons of San Cristóbal and Isabela.
Content based on a press release from the Galapagos National Park Directorate, translated with their permission.