The Galapagos Islands are a prime example of a place where fishery management policies have been established without first understanding the behavior of fishermen. Since the creation of the Galapagos Marine Reserve in 1998, there has not been a single study in the archipelago that investigates fishing behavior and the factors affecting this behavior. This paper addresses this gap in the literature by describing and analyzing the decisions of the fishing fleet for the red spiny lobster fishery. It focuses on factors that affect the short-term decisions regarding both participation and intensity of participation in the lobster fishery. This paper finds that the fishing fleet in the Galapagos Islands behaves as profit maximizing firms, because they consider all the benefits and costs that affect both their participation decision as well as their decision about how frequently to be active after they have decided to participate. The results also show that there is a large latent effort in the lobster fisheries that could threaten the sustainability of any initiatives aimed at increasing catchability, prices, or markets. It is expected that this analysis will be valuable to policy makers when designing or improving the management plans for Galapagos fisheries.