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

The source of stem cells points to two proteins

December 11, 2018

Mammalian embryos are unlike those of any other organism as they must grow within the mother's body. While other animal embryos grow outside the mother, their embryonic cells can get right to work accepting assignments, such ...

'Pest-controlling' bats could help save rainforests

December 11, 2018

A new study shows that several species of bats are giving Madagascar's rice farmers a vital pest control service by feasting on plagues of insects. And this, a zoologist at the University of Cambridge believes, can ease the ...

The food poisoning find that could save lives

December 11, 2018

Researchers at The Australian National University (ANU) have made a discovery that has the potential to save lives when treating bacterial infections, especially serious food poisoning.

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.