Artisanal Fishing


As noted in the Special Regulations for fishing in the Galapagos Marine Reserve, published in the Official Gazette No. 483, of December 8, 2008, artisanal fishing is characterized as an alternative activity. 

Sport fishing, at least by name, is illegal in the Galapagos Islands but artisanal fishing is permitted. The essential distinction of artisanal fishing is that it can only be offered by local fishermen of the Galapagos. In that way, it gives the visitors the opportunity to learn about and get involved in the unique culture. The level of extraction is limited, since it is only demonstrative, practicing catch-and-release.

Artisanal fishing is a great economic alternative that can help in overcoming the problems of overfishing and at the same time meet the management objectives of the Galapagos Marine Reserve and the Galapagos National Park:

  1. Reduce the pressure on fishery resources (lobster, sea cucumber, white fish, among others)
  2. Improve the socio-economic status of active fishermen through the diversification of their sources of income
  3. Conserve the marine ecosystems of Galapagos (Castrejon, 2008).

Experiential artisanal fishing arose in 2005 from the initiative of the fisheries sector as an economic alternative to the traditional activity of fishing, which had represented conflicts of sustainability by the overexploitation of certain fisheries of high profitability (mainly sea cucumber and spiny lobster).

In 2006, the Galapagos National Park issued a provisional regulation to manage experimental fishing. However, during the first two years of the activity, the precarious conditions of the fishing vessels to suddenly be used for the transport of tourists, proved impossible to promote their development as a real alternative for fishermen.

After the support of various foundations and institutions, finally in 2007, the first vessels became authorized to carry out experimental fishing. There are currently 35 vessels with authorization of the Galapagos National Park for this experimental fishing operation.


Geographical Position: North-east of San Cristobal 
Latitude: 0˚49'24.37''S 
Longitude: 89˚21'6.63''0 

Rosa Blanca is a small place situated to the northeast of San Cristobal Island, a few minutes away from Montones de Arena and Twenty Sticks (Veinte Varas). It is characterized by having a few small beaches. Nonetheless, its main attraction is the large beach in the center of the small bay where there are quite a few dunes which in combination with crystal-clear waters create spectacular scenery.  

The whole bay and the adjacent areas are an ideal place for fishing wahoo, palometa, big eye, mullet, and groupers. One can also find sharks, rays, and marine turtles which make this a perfect place for snorkeling.

Geographical Position: North-east of San Cristobal 
Latitude: 0˚44'7.29''S 
Longitude: 89˚26'3.40''0

Punta Pucuna is a place of traditional fishing used for years by the fishery sector of San Cristobal, located in the northeast area of the Island, a few minutes away from Cerro Brujo Beach and Kicker Rock.

It is formed by a small bay that consists of three beaches. It is a unique and peaceful landscape. The presence of lava cones behind the beaches and the spectacular views of Cerro Brujo Beach and Kicker Rock make this place an ideal site for photography.

Geographical Position: North-east of San Cristobal 
Latitude: 0˚41'49.59''S 
Longitude: 89˚21'46.15''0

This location is characterized by such fishing species as sardine, liza, octopus, lobster, prawns, among others. Sardine Bay is formed by two beaches which attract visitors with their white sand dunes and crystal-clear waters perfect for snorkeling. Also, the bay is known for the presence of marine tortoises, rays, and sea lions.

Geographical Position: South-east of San Cristobal 
Latitude: 0˚50'42.65''S 
Longitude: 89˚32'31.50''0

The main attraction of this beach is the mangroves and the presence of frigate birds, pelicans, and blue-footed boobies. The crystal-clear waters are ideal for snorkeling. Also keep in mind that marine tortoises, rays, and sea lions are very common here. Lava cones can be found in the further part of the beach and along the bay coast.


 ministerioturismo  ministerioambiente
 regimengalapagos secretariamar