Mary Jo Viederman Lindblad Expeditions (413) 549 3950 [email protected]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York, NY (September 30, 2005) – Galapagos tourism pioneer, Lindblad Expeditions, called on the Galapagos National Park to take severe action against Celebrity Expeditions for alleged illegal shark fishing by crew members while on board the company’s vessel, the Xpedition.
Letters received from the Associacion de Guias de Galapagos (Association of Naturalist Guides) resulted in the National Park filing legal action against the company and beginning the process to conduct an investigation.
“This news causes great dismay, not only by the National Park, but by all of the parties in the Galapagos who have worked to bring together the interests of tourism and conservation,” said Felipe Cruz, Technical Director for Project Isabella, Galapagos National Park/Charles Darwin Foundation. “We have made great progress in this area over the last several years and we must hold tour operators, large and small, accountable for actions that do not uphold the laws for operating in an endangered place like Galapagos. Only then will we make progress towards long-term, sustainable tourism and conservation in the Galapagos,” he added.
“Tourism, more and more, is occurring in remote and fragile areas,” said Sven Lindblad, president and founder of Lindblad Expeditions. “But with that, comes the responsibility of corporate vigilance in those areas. To have personnel fishing for endangered species in a marine reserve will tarnish not only the accused operator – it affects all of us – the region, the local community, the integrity of the marine reserve and those operators who are adhering to good stewardship,” he added.
Lindblad Expeditions has been at the forefront of responsible tourism in the region going back to Lars-Eric Lindblad’s first non-scientific expedition in 1968. To date, Lindblad Expeditions has raised nearly $3 million from their guests in the Galapagos under their Galapagos Conservation Fund, with 100% of contributions going to local projects determined by Park, the Charles Darwin Foundation and other experts.
About Lindblad Expeditions
Lindblad Expeditions was founded in 1979 and operates a fleet of six ships in regions such as Galapagos, Antarctica, Arctic Norway, Alaska and Baja California, to name a few, with a focus on responsible tourism. The company has been the recipient of many environmental awards including the United Nations Environmental Programme Global 500 Award.