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Sea Shepherd Formalizes Protection Role In Galapagos Marine Reserve, Watson Awarded 'Amazon Peace Prize'

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QUITO, Equador -- Sea Shepherd President and Founder Captain Paul Watson signed two important agreements, solidifying Sea Shepherd’s role in protecting marine species in Latin America. In a historic ceremony, on July 4th, Captain Watson signed an agreement with the National Police of Ecuador that will allow for joint operations to patrol the Galapagos Marine Reserve for illegal fishing operations. Captain Watson also signed an agreement with AMAZNOR, an Ecuadorian grassroots organization dedicated to the protection of the Amazon, in order to aid in the protection of the endangered pink dolphin and the manatee that dwell in the Amazon region.

While in Quito, Watson attended a special ceremony to receive two awards for his lifelong dedication to the protection of marine wildlife around the world and for his efforts over the last seven years in the Galapagos Islands . The first award was presented by AMAZNOR. The second award was the Amazon Peace Prize. Watson was selected for this award by the Vice President of Ecuador and the Latin American Association for Human Rights. The medal and plaque were presented to Captain Watson by Chief Commander of the Ecuadorian National Police Bolivar Cisneros. Captain Watson accepted the awards saying, “We now have a government in Ecuador with the will to uphold laws to protect the environment, and we must do everything in our power to uphold the laws we have protecting both the Galapagos and the Amazon. We can make this Ecuadorian effort a model of conservation for the world to notice and to emulate.”

After several working sessions with General Cisneros and Colonel Teresa Carranza, commander of the National Environmental Police (a division of the National Police), Sea Shepherd agreed to work on ways to strengthen the Environmental Police of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. “We have made a huge dent in the poaching mafias that operate in the Galapagos Islands and this agreement will strengthen our ability to continue to work together towards this common goal,” commented Sea Shepherd Galapagos Director Sean O’Hearn Gimenez.

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