09:49 GMT21 September 2020
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    BUENOS AIRES (Sputnik) - China has agreed to observe a temporary fishing moratorium off the coast of the Galapagos Islands, the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry said in a press release on Wednesday.

    “The Chinese government has assured Ecuador that it understands and respects its concerns which were conveyed through diplomatic channels. For this reason, a fishing moratorium will be in place from September to November in the area of sea to the west of the Galapagos protection zone”, the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry said in a statement following talks between officials in Quito and Beijing.

    The Chinese authorities have also expressed their willingness for vessels to be subject to checks by Ecuadorian officials, the ministry stated, adding that bilateral consultations will continue over the coming weeks and months. Beijing has said that it stands fully opposed to all illegal fishing, the ministry stated.

    Foreign Minister Luis Gallegos had warned in late July that Quito was ready to take action to protect the country’s marine rights following media reports that several Chinese vessels were spotted off the coast of the Galapagos Islands.

    According to Ecuador's El Universo newspaper, a fleet of roughly 260 Chinese vessels was identified near the Galapagos Islands, although the ships are believed to have remained in international waters.

    Tags:
    Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, China
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