Alarm over discovery of hundreds of Chinese fishing vessels near Galápagos Islands

The fleet, found just outside a protected zone, raises the prospect of damage to the marine ecosystem

Ecuador has sounded the alarm after its navy discovered a huge fishing fleet of mostly Chinese-flagged vessels some 200 miles from the Galápagos Islands, the archipelago which inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

About 260 ships are currently in international waters just outside a 188-mile wide exclusive economic zone around the island, but their presence has already raised the prospect of serious damage to the delicate marine ecosystem, said former environment minister Yolanda Kakabadse.

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