QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Authorities in Ecuador have detained 20 Chinese crewmembers on a ship found near the Galapagos holding 300 tons of frozen marine animals — some from species in danger of extinction.
Ecuador's navy stopped the ship Sunday near San Cristobal, the easternmost island of the Galapagos archipelago treasured for its unique animal species.
Environment Minister Tarsicio Granizo says a large portion of the animal parts found aboard the ship consisted of frozen shark fins. Endangered hammerhead shark remains were also discovered. Shark fin soup is a Chinese delicacy.
The Galapagos Marine Reserve is among the world's largest and designed to protect the region's substantial number of sharks and other marine life.
It was not immediately clear whether the sharks were caught in the reserve.
Ecuador's navy was guarding the ship Wednesday.