Tonnes of garbage cleaned up from Galapagos coast

March 18, 2018
Officials at Ecuador's Galapagos National Park say they have collected 22 tonnes of garbage since January off the coasts of the pristine archipelago, some of it from as far away as Asia

Officials at Ecuador's Galapagos National Park say they have collected 22 tonnes of garbage since January off the coasts of the pristine archipelago, some of it from as far away as Asia.

The coastal garbage cleanup is aimed at studying "the possible arrival of invasive species in the waste swept in by the ," the Park said in a statement late Saturday.

The Galapagos, the Pacific archipelago of volcanic islands that inspired Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, are located about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) off the coast of Ecuador.

The bulk of the garbage reaches the island shores "from the coasts of Central and South America, and even from the Asian continent," the statement said.

The national park, created in 1959, protects 97 percent of the islands' land surface.

The Galapagos has an especially high concentration of endemic species, including giant tortoises and penguins. In 1978 UNESCO classified the islands as a World Heritage Site.

A marine reserve spanning 138,000 square kilometers (53,280 square miles) was also established.

And a 38,000-square-kilometer marine sanctuary in which all fishing is banned was set up between two of the islands. Those waters are home to the world's highest concentration of sharks.

Most of the garbage comes from outside as Ecuador has a strict limit on visitors, and only 26,000 people live on the four inhabited islands.

Galapagos authorities limit construction, promote the use of , and have banned plastic bags to protect the unique environment of the islands.

Explore further: Ecuador creates sanctuary for hammerhead sharks

Related Stories

Galapagos fights temptation of lucrative mass tourism

February 8, 2018

With its iconic giant tortoises, crested black iguanas, huge ocean manta rays and a veritable menagerie of other cool creatures, the Galapagos Islands are one of the most beautiful places you will probably never visit.

Breeding season under way for Galapagos tortoises

January 10, 2013

Breeding season is under way for the endangered tortoises of Ecuador's Galapagos Islands, whose mating and nesting habits are carefully watched by wildlife specialists hoping to save them from extinction.

Recommended for you

Fungus senses gravity using gene borrowed from bacteria

April 24, 2018

The pin mold fungus Phycomyces blakesleeanus forms a dense forest of vertically growing fruiting bodies, but how does it know which way is "up"? New research publishing 24 April in the open access journal PLOS Biology, from ...

Team discovers a new take on early evolution of photosynthesis

April 24, 2018

A team of scientists from Arizona State University's School of Molecular Sciences has begun re-thinking the evolutionary history of photochemical reaction centers (RCs). Their analysis was recently published online in Photosynthesis ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.