Conservationists of Ecuador have welcomed a recent judgement that upholds a ban on shark poaching. A court in Guayaquil ruled that the constitutional rights of the owners of an illegal shark-poaching vessel were not violated when their vessel was seized. The vessel, Maria Canela II, was seized on March 22, 2001, inside the Galapagos Marine Reserve. At least 78 sharks and 1,044 shark fins were found inside the vessel. The decision is being considered as an achievement in the battle to save the unique ecosystem of the Galapagos Islands from commercial exploitation (see 'Paradise in peril', Down To Earth , Vol 9, No 11, October 31, 2000).
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