WWF asks Ecuador for good management of tuna populations
From this Monday until December 4, meetings will be held to discuss issues related to conservation measures
Updated 11/30/2020 09:52
The Ecuador section of WWF urges the Government led by Lenín Moreno to assume responsibilities and take decisive actions to ensure the proper management and conservation of the populations of tunas and other species in the Eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO).
It does so within the framework of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (CIAT), which is holding its meetings in virtual format for the first time, due to the current pandemic.
Starting this Monday and until December 4, meetings will be held where issues related to tropical tuna conservation measures that will be applied in the Eastern Pacific during 2021 will be discussed.
“Despite the exceptional circumstances that humanity is experiencing, the IATTC, the regional fisheries management body (RFMO), of which Ecuador is a member, must assume its responsibilities and take decisive actions to ensure the proper management and conservation of the populations of tunas and other species in the EPO, “says WWF Ecuador in a statement.
From his point of view, the 95th meeting of the Commission should urgently address issues such as taking action to ensure that the conservation measures for tropical tunas that are in force are not interrupted and continue in 2021.
In addition, accelerate the ongoing process of evaluating management strategies for tuna fisheries, since several certified fisheries depend on this process, as well as other fisheries interested in entering the certification process.
Similarly, continue developing and fine-tuning FAD management guidelines, so that by 2021, the FAD limits, that is, number of sets, number of active FADs per boat, are based on science.
According to the WWF, observer coverage for the industrial longline fleet should be increased to 20%, and human or electronic observers should begin to be placed on the smaller purse seiners.
And he asks the government of Ecuador to recognize the importance of these issues to ensure that fisheries in the region can continue to provide secure jobs, a constant supply of food, and viable commercial and development opportunities for the country, the letter said.
The WWF notes that Ecuador “has gradually increased its levels of catching tuna in the EPO, especially since 2003, until today it has become the main actor in these fisheries.”
This, “with catches that represent 46% of the regional tuna production, bordering in the last five years the 300,000 tons of annual catch,” he indicates.
It is estimated that the tuna sector employs approximately 10,000 people in the extractive phase, and 21,000 people in the processing phase.
Likewise, it is estimated that approximately 60% of production / processing personnel employ female labor, the document states.
After shrimp and bananas, tuna and its products constitute the third category of non-oil exports from Ecuador.
In 2017 and 2018, a total of 727,776 million dollars and 782,187 million dollars were exported for canned tuna respectively.
As a result of the ratification of the trade agreement with the European Union, in 2017, there was a 65% increase in exports to that market.
There are environmental and conservation issues, but also social and economic issues at stake, which depend on the decisions that are made, recalls the WWF
And it believes that all RFMOs must continue to make concrete progress in fulfilling their mandates to sustainably manage tuna resources in the long term.
That is why, aligned with this objective, WWF-Ecuador will continue working with the Government of Ecuador and with all the members of the IATTC to support their efforts, the statement concluded.
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