Galápagos artisanal fishers insist they be allowed to use longlines

The artisanal fishing sector of Galapagos claims to be “very hit” by the economic crisis caused by the pandemic and the public policies [that were] applied at the time. They ask to be given a “break.” Ricardo Zambrano

Galápagos artisanal fishers insist they be allowed to use longlines

Ricardo Zambrano
January 27, 2021 – 06h00

As part of the 18-point joint declaration signed at the end of the Third Fisheries Summit, which took place last weekend in Puerto Ayora, [artisanal fishers] are requesting the Government Council of Galapagos to coordinate the economic reactivation plan for the fishing sector and [allow] the provisional authorization of the use of the “modified” technical tie (type of longline) for one year in the archipelago.

Eduardo Abudeye, provisional president of the Network of Artisanal Fishermen of Galapagos, indicates that more than ten years ago, his sector supported the use of this technique and, in addition, he changed the line from wire to nylon to allow species such as the shark get away.

They criticize both the issue of longline use and its impact on birds, but this is only seen in the fishing sector; they do not want to reflect [upon the impacts of] the tourism sector. The visiting sites (on the islands) are for groups of 30 or 40 passengers to enter, but the boats enter up to 500 at the same time, [but] they do not say this,” he says.

He also indicates that there is deterioration in the reefs by the “huge” anchors of the tourist boats.

Artisanal fishermen from the country attended the Third Fisheries Summit.

Harry Reyes, a biologist from the Galapagos National Park, participated in the summit. He points out that what is being studied is the unified ocean draw (EOU). This system was part of a fishing gear research project led by the Public Institute for Aquaculture and Fisheries Research (Ipiap), approved in 2016, and which was completed in the first phase.

The project studied the bycatch level of two gears: deep ocean draw (EOP) and EOU, whose difference is the depth at which the gear operates. The results showed that the EOP had an incidence of 8.5% and the EOU of 5.2% , so the latter was recommended for their study.

Carlos Moncayo, also a representative of the artisanal fishermen of Galapagos, adds that they have been fighting for the approval of the oceanic tie for “years” and although the Ipiap study “favors” them, they have a low incidence, “they are still [conducting] more studies and not giving this project the green light ”.

However, Reyes affirms that all the necessary studies must be done to apply a technique that is friendly to the environment, especially if it is going to carry many hooks.

Environmental organizations have claimed that approval of the use of the EOU would have serious consequences for iconic species on the islands.

Memorandum Signature

Within the framework of the summit, industrial and artisanal fishermen signed a memorandum of understanding for the collection of marine debris.

“We have joined forces, in particular, with the tuna boats and the WWF organization to obtain funds for garbage collection, creation of ecological FADs (fish aggregating devices) and legal and technical fishing advice,” says Abudeye.

The idea, according to Guillermo Morán, of the Tuna Conservation Group, is that the FADs of the industrial fishing fleet that enter the Galapagos Marine Reserve involuntarily should also be collected.

The second objective is to provide technical assistance to artisanal fishermen so that they have a management system for their fisheries with scientific sustainability standards.

Read the original coverage from El Universo at

Informing and sharing news on marine life, flora, fauna and conservation in the Galápagos Islands since 2017
© SOS Galápagos, 2021

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