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.