Volunteers collect 2.1 tons of garbage in Galapagos

A volunteer collects garbage on Isabela Island of the Galapagos archipelago on February 22, 2019 RODRIGO BUENDIA AFP / Archives

First modification: 04/02/2021 – 01:10

Quito (AFP) – A campaign to clean up the Galapagos Islands collected 2.1 tons of coastal garbage in the north of the Ecuadorian archipelago, the authority in charge of the conservation of this ecosystem reported on Thursday.

The volunteers “made the second coastal clean-up trip to distant sites to the north of the archipelago, specifically the Genovesa, Pinta and Santiago islands, collecting 2.1 tons of marine litter carried by the current,” reported the Galapagos National Park (PNG) in its statement.

After a journey of 22 kilometers of coastline, according to official information, the collection, classification and registration of the waste was achieved.

All the material was accumulated in 277 garbage bags, which included 18,177 plastic bottles, the most abundant materials in maritime pollution.

The waste that is thrown into the seas can reach Galapagos, 1,000 km off the coast of Ecuador, transformed into microplastic, one of the greatest threats to the iguanas, turtles, birds and endemic fish of this archipelago that served as a natural laboratory to the English scientist Charles Darwin for his theory on the evolution of species.

The initiative, which includes three annual cleaning trips, aims to “significantly reduce the accumulation of floating garbage in coastal and subtidal areas”, which directly affects the protection of the Galapagos marine fauna, which takes the name of the gigantic turtles that live there.

Trash that comes from afar is stranded on the coastline by the action of ocean currents.

Solar radiation and the salinity of the sea degrade bottles, bags, lids, containers, fishing nets. This material becomes hard as stone, but on contact with rocks or by the force of water it splinters into microparticles that animals ingest, according to park rangers.

In a similar clean-up day in February, 2.5 tons of garbage were removed, and according to PNG, a third day will take place at the end of April.

Read the original coverage via France24 at https://www.france24.com/es/minuto-a-minuto/20210401-voluntarios-recolectan-2-1-toneladas-de-basura-en-gal%C3%A1pagos

Informing and sharing news on marine life, flora, fauna and conservation in the Galápagos Islands since 2017
© SOS Galápagos, 2021

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