Thirteen countries and the European Union (EU) have participated since Monday, September 18, in “Galapex II 2023”, a joint military exercise in the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) to form a multinational force against illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing. .
The rehearsal, which will last until September 30, involves vessels from the navies of Ecuador, the United States and Peru, as well as representatives and delegates from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, France, Italy, Mexico, Panama and United Kingdom.
Among the units involved in the exercise is the frigate Coronel Bolognesi, of the Peruvian Navy; two ships from the United States Coast Guard and six from the Ecuadorian Navy (Hualcopo, Atahualpa, Chimborazo, San Cristóbal Island, Floreana Island and Isla de la Plata), in addition to two naval aero units from Ecuador.
In total there will be around 700 officers and crew members involved in the exercise, which began this Monday in the coastal city of Salinas and will end in the Galapagos archipelago, located about 1,000 kilometers west of the continental coasts of Ecuador.
During the rehearsal, planned maritime interdiction exercises, boarding exercises, tactical maneuvers, communications exercises and activities will be carried out that will allow the exchange of knowledge and the strengthening of operational capabilities, regional cooperation and ties of friendship between the participating countries.
The idea of this exercise was initially proposed by Ecuador at the twenty-eighth Inter-American Naval Conference (CNI), held in Cartagena de Indias (Colombia) in 2018 as a joint response against foreign fishing fleets, mainly from China, which annually transit near the waters of Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina.
During the inauguration of the exercise, the Minister of Defense of Ecuador, Luis Lara, explained that “this exercise has high importance for the future of life at sea” by seeking better interoperability between the naval forces of the countries of the region. to activities linked to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
“This is a problem that has reached alarming dimensions due to the activities of true fishing factories that prey on vast portions of the ocean, threatening the life cycle of migratory marine species, and causing serious damage to life and the marine environment in this area. Pacific zone,” Lara said.