Defense Minister Oswaldo Jarrín noted that Ecuador is on alert due to the Chinese fishing fleet that is located near the Exclusive Insular Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Galapagos Islands .
Inside the maritime territory are protected species that would be in danger. Faced with this context, Minister Jarrín indicated that air and maritime operations are being carried out .
However, the official clarified that at no time have the ships violated the country’s maritime space . “In the demarcation of the two zones, the Galápagos and Continental ZEEI there is a corridor, which are international waters , in which Ecuador has no interference, that is where they are,” he said at a press conference on Thursday 23 July 2020.
There are 260 boats that fish in this corridor. “We do not know if they are private, of the State, we know the identifications, but not their membership,” said the minister.
“If they know how the borders are established at sea, according to Convemar, they will not enter. And if they enter, what happened in 2017 will happen , they will be seized, for that we have part of the Ecuadorian Naval Fleet , which is made up of corvettes, coast guards, planes, which performs patrolling and maritime exploration permanently, “said Jarrín.
The head of the Defense Ministry said that a security triangle will be launched as part of maritime security . “A captaincy of ports will be formed between the ports of Esmeraldas , plus those of deep waters ( Bolívar, Posorja, Manta ) the vertex of this triangle constitutes the Galapagos,” he said.
With the security triangle, the Ministry will combat problems such as: piracy, illegal fishing and drug trafficking .
Amilcar Villavicencio, chief of the General Staff of the Navy, indicated that the Navy will defend national maritime interests , through the task force.
The Minister of Defense pointed out that bi-national meetings have been held , which have received the acceptance of Colombia and Peru to join the Regional Maritime Security Cooperation to improve control. (I)