Quito, Ecuador, January 20, 2020 — As part of its ongoing efforts to protect the world’s oceans utilizing law and policy, Sea Shepherd Legal entered into an official agreement today with Ecuador’s Office of the Attorney General to increase Ecuador’s capacity to fight illegal fishing and related criminal activity – scourges that threaten marine biodiversity and economies throughout Latin America.
Ecuador is home to some of the planet’s most extraordinary marine ecosystems that serve as breeding, nursery, and feeding grounds for a vast array of unique and highly sensitive marine species. Unfortunately, such richness attracts poaching, threatening the long-term viability of marine biodiversity, the livelihoods of Ecuador’s local communities, and Ecuador’s economy as a whole. The new agreement between Ecuador and Sea Shepherd Legal aims to address those threats.
As the Office of the Attorney General noted, “This agreement, of legal support, will serve to reinforce the investigative work of the General Prosecutor in crimes related to illegal fishing and others committed at sea.”
Under the strong leadership of Attorney General Diana Salazar Méndez, Ecuador’s chief crime fighting agency has received tremendous accolades for its unrelenting commitment to protecting Ecuador. Sea Shepherd Legal is honored to have the opportunity to lend its legal and policy expertise and appreciates the efforts of Sea Shepherd Ecuador in facilitating this critical collaboration.
Through the agreement, Sea Shepherd Legal will provide training and other support to help enhance the capacity of Ecuador’s prosecutors, judges, administrative officers, enforcement personnel, legislators, and other officials to effectively respond to marine wildlife poaching and other related crimes.
Sea Shepherd Legal is an international non-profit environmental law firm, established in 2014, with a mission to save marine wildlife and habitats by enforcing, strengthening, and developing protective laws, treaties, policies, and practices worldwide. It has provided legal and policy support to help governments in multiple countries more effectively combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing and has successfully pushed for stronger legal protections for a variety of species.
Sea Shepherd Ecuador has a longstanding relationship with the government of Ecuador, having facilitated the creation of the first and only anti-wildlife trafficking canine unit in the Galapagos islands, and the donation and establishment of an AIS vessel-tracking system in the Galapagos National Park HQ, to prevent illegal fishing.