The World Heritage Centre and the advisory body for natural World Heritage, IUCN, are following with concern the situation in the immediate surroundings of the Galápagos Islands, where the massive presence of industrial fishing vessels from diverse nationalities has been repeatedly reported by media worldwide. 

The state of conservation for the Galápagos Islands, including the outcomes of the fishing practices review and possible measures to address them, will be examined at the forthcoming 44th session of the World Heritage Committee.

The Galápagos Islands, protected under the World Heritage Convention, were among the first sites inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1978 and extended in 2001 to include the Galápagos Marine Reserve.

The World Heritage Centre welcomes the efforts of Ecuador to protect the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, and recalls that the protection of properties on the World Heritage List is the duty of the international community as a whole. As stated in Article 6.3 of the World Heritage Convention, all States Parties have the obligation to refrain from any deliberate measures which might damage directly or indirectly the cultural and natural heritage protected under the Convention.

The World Heritage Centre further reiterates its commitment to the implementation of the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including the target to end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices.