A 360-degree trip around San Cristobal Island, this is what the Caring for Galapagos Initiative did to collect coastal and underwater garbage.

The Caring for Galapagos Initiative held on Tuesday, November 29 an articulated event of different activities to collect coastal and underwater garbage in Shipwreck Bay in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, a 360-degree trip around San Cristobal Island.

There were 8 coastal brigades in charge of collecting the garbage that is usually left on the sand of the beaches by the tide or tourism.

In the underwater garbage collection brigade, 8 divers were needed, who embarked on 8 local fishermen’s fibers and sailed along the coastal profile to bring ashore the garbage found on the seabed, the effect of the current of the rivers that flow into the sea.

Sixty volunteers collaborated in the brigades, 80% of whom were artisanal fishermen from the island region, grouped in the Corporation of Artisanal Fishermen of Galapagos (CORPAG).

The garbage collected had its collection center at the mayor’s office, which after the 8-hour day had a total of 1,381 kilos of garbage, 90% of which was plastic bottles, the largest pollutant found. Followed by glass bottles. Among some of the strange elements found were: motors, large pieces of PVC and even a goat.

The Caring for Galapagos Initiative

This initiative is being funded by the TUNACONS Foundation and the National Chamber of Fisheries (CNP), which brings together the fishing sector in three main areas: the collection of underwater garbage, the collection of fishing gear (FADs) with the possibility of stranding, and technical assistance for artisanal fishermen in the development of improvement projects to certify their fisheries. This initiative also has the support of WWF Ecuador and the cooperation of the municipalities of San Cristóbal, Santa Cruz, and Isabela.

Galapagos National Park PNG

The day before the event, on Monday, November 28th, the participation of the GNP was formalized with the signing of the Cooperation Agreement to support this initiative between the Director of TUNACONS, Guillermo Moran and the Director of the GNP, Danny Rueda.

Intervened areas

From El Pescador to Punta Pitt, especially Puerto Las Tablas, Bahia de Rosa Blanca and Montones de Arena, to the north and east of San Cristobal Island. 

Projections

It is planned to carry out this event in the first quarter of 2023 to cover the main islands that show the need for deep cleaning.

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