ECUADOR

 
Published: Thursday 15 May 1997

The marine wealth of the Hunting for shark fins and sea cucumbers, which are sought after as delicacies in South-east Asian countries, is on the rise despite a ban. During raids by the navy and the Galapagos National Park personnel, a total of 57,000 sea cucumbers were captured from fishing fleets in just one week in the beginning of March.

The raids follow the government's decision to enforce the ban more strictly. However, local experts say the decision might have come a bit too late as the sea cucumbers may have been already exhausted. 'The future of sharks also looks bleak following the likely inclusion of Ecuador in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. It is expected to boost seafood exports such as shark fins to south Asian countries.

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