Sardine canning factory. (Photo: Edgar A. Ríos)
Five factories leading sardine exports
Tuesday, September 04, 2012, 04:00 (GMT + 9)
While the sardine is not in such a high demand as the tuna, it is a very important resource for industrialists in Manta.
At present, the sardine is processed by five companies: Industrias Ecuatoriana Productora de Alimentos CA (Inepaca), Lubar, Conservas Isabel, Gondi SA and Olimar SA.
Between 70 per cent and 80 per cent of the resource that has been produced is exported to Colombia, Argentina, United States, Mexico and other Latin American countries, and the rest of the sardine processed in the Ecuadorian plants is destined to domestic consumption, El Diario reported.
This year, gutted sardines sent to factories reached a price of between USD 620 and USD 650 per tonne. But last year the price reached USD 780, due to the scarcity of the resource, noted Marcelo Camacho, from the quality control department of Conservas Isabel.
Luis Barcia, Lubar manager, explains that the industrialization of the sardine is carried out for 10 months a year, since in March and in September there are fishing bans.
"Right now, we have just stopped production and despite the reserves we have. We have to wait until Fisheries authority perform stock inventory, which is fulfilled in each closed period," Barcia added.
Lubar produces about 500 tonnes of sardines monthly while Conservas Isabel cans between 200 and 300 tonnes and employs about 40 temporary workers.
On Saturday, 1 September a ban on fishing for sardines and for other small pelagic fish went into effect, which will remain for the entire month.
Compliance with the ban will be the responsibility of the inspectors of the Undersecretariat of Fisheries, with the support of the National Directorate of Aquatic Spaces (Dirnea) and the Harbour Authorities, the entire coastal profile, according to the Undersecretariat of Fisheries Resources (SRP).
By Analia Murias