Shrimp trawler. (Photo: SRP)
Trawling ban deferral unconvincing for shrimp harvesters
Friday, September 28, 2012, 05:00 (GMT + 9)
Despite the extension of the trawling ban until 15 December announced by the President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, the Ecuadorian Association of Shrimp Fishing Vessels Shipowners (Asearbapesca) fears that the government can not implement a contingency plan for affected boats and fishermen.
The shrimp fishing industry considers that postponing the ban for two and a half months is insufficient.
According to Juan Carlos Correia, Asearbapesca president, the extension should be postponed for at least a year to analyze and adopt the contingency plans proposed by the Executive.
At present, shrimp harvesters do not clearly know what the alternatives to trawling are.
The national government offered state loans to adapt the vessels for a different type of fishing, but since the quotas will not be enough for everybody, a bonus will also be offered for those who choose to 'scrap' the boats.
In this regard, the official warned that the extent would only be 30 per cent of the 117 shrimp boats that would be affected by the measure, El Universo reported.
Asearbapesca estimated that more than eight thousand people will be harmed, including sea crew, ground workers and their families.
Another option would be that shrimp harvesters start capturing large and medium pelagic fish, hake, squid and nurse shark.
The president of the Association of Shrimp harvesters of Posorja, Jorge Baidal, admitted that the official decision reassures the union, but clarified that the announcement of regulations does not mean their gear will change.
Juan Carlos Corella, president of the Association of Shrimp Trawlers, explained they will need at least a year to adopt "all the necessary steps required for the change of job."
Furthermore, the Directors of the National Federation of Artisanal Fisheries Cooperatives of Ecuador (Fenacopec) met in various fishing coves of Ecuador and its members rejected the government's decision, as published in El Comercio.
- Trawling elimination postponed
By Analia Murias