Angry fisherfolk of Galapagos Islands, 965 kilometres off the Ecuadorean mainland, recently lay seige to research stations of the Charles Darwin Foundation, the main promoter of conservation efforts in the island. The fisherfolk were protesting against the October 2000 announcement of the Galapagos Fishing Commission that established seasonal limits on catches stating that fisherfolk had only three months to harvest no more than 50 tonnes of lobsters.
"They caused minor damage, stole equipment and prevented the employees of the research stations from entering the offices," said Fernando Espinoza, director of the foundation. The fisherfolk of the island had taken similar action in May 1999 after authorities enforced limits on shell fish catches. They had even taken a group of Galapagos tortoises hostage. But authorities had refused to give in to their demands and the tortoises were freed unharmed.
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