The strike of 1995
In 1999 fishing for sea cucumbers will be permitted anew in Galapagos by the
Government of Ecuador.
This fishery threatens not only the wildlife and integrity of coastal Galapagos,
but the accompanying gold-rush has disrupted the social, political, and economic
order of island life. From 1992 through 1995, and again in 1997, fisheries for sea
cucumbers, shark fins, and other protected species lit the fuse of conflict in the
islands. Cynical politicians opportunistically seized on the furor over natural
resources to promote their own agendas and create a schism between townspeople and
natural resource managers.
To attract the attention of the central government of Ecuador to their issues,
politicians engineered takeovers of the Charles Darwin Research Station and
Galapagos National Park Service facilities for 4 days in January and 15 days in
September, 1995. These were difficult times for both institutions, but the
adversity strengthened their resolve to carry out their mandates in science and
management to conserve the Galapagos.
This is a view of the strike in September, 1995, recorded hour-to-hour on e-mail
and film as events unfolded.