On 24 July, at Manta, the former Chinese fishing vessel FU YUAN YU LENG 999 was commissioned into the Ecuadorian Navy as the HUALCOPO (TR-61).
Caught in the exclusive Galapagos area in 2017, acting as a receiving vessel for illegal Chinese fishing vessels and carrying 300t of illegally-caught fish in her holds, the FU YUAN YU LENG 999 was initially confiscated by the Galapagos National Park Service but on 16 October 2017 was transferred to control of the Ecuadorian Navy for a period of ten years. Some repair and refurbishment work, however, was required before the vessel could be returned to service.
The vessel is 96m long, 16m in the beam and has an average draft of 6m: built in 2015, she has a load capacity of 900t.
Santiago Rivas and Florencia Lucero Heguy in Buenos Aires for MON