Tuna vessels. (Photo: Stock File)
72-day ban begins for tuna capture
Monday, July 30, 2018, 22:40 (GMT + 9)
The Ministry of Aquaculture and Fisheries will apply an annual 72-day ban to prevent purse-seine vessels from catching tropical tuna in the period 2018-2020, within the framework of conservation and management measures agreed by the member countries of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC).
Vessels with Ecuadorian registration will benefit from the closure in any of the two periods contemplated for performance: between July 29 and October 8, and from November 9 to January 19, 2019.
The fishing ban covers yellowfin, bigeye and skipjack tuna in Ecuador's territorial sea and its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), and is a sign of the country's commitment to the conservation of tuna stocks and other associated marine resources to this long-term fishery.
The new closure period is applicable to purse-seine vessels of all members and non-cooperating members of the IATTC of more than 182 metric tonnes of carrying capacity. In the case of Ecuador, the ships comply with this technical parameter.
Fishing and fishing boats, as well as purse seiners of less than 182 or less metric tonnes of carrying capacity are not subject to these measures, except those related to the management of fish-aggregating devices (FADs).
The Ministry of Aquaculture and Fisheries has already informed the IATTC of the names of the purse-seine vessels and the closure period to be implemented. In the first period of closure, 55 vessels will suspend their activities, and the rest in the second period.
Each vessel that fishes, regardless of the flag under which it operates or if it changes the flag or jurisdiction under which it fishes during the year, must abide by the closure period to which it was committed.
During the closure period, Ecuador's fisheries inspectors will ensure compliance with regulations with monitoring, control and landing certificates. Likewise, it will be noted that all tuna vessels of classes 4,5 and 6 and operating under the flag of Ecuador are sheltered in the national port.
While the ban is in force, the unloading and transshipments of tuna or derived products that have been positively identified as coming from fishing activities that contravene these measures are prohibited, pursuant to resolution C-17-02 adopted by the IATTC in Mexico.
Among the countries that participate as cooperating members of the IATTC are: Belize, Canada, China, Colombia, Korea, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, the US, France, Guatemala, Japan, Kiribati, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama , Peru, Chinese Taipei, European Union, Vanuatu and Venezuela. While Bolivia, Chile, Honduras, Indonesia and Liberia are recognized by the Commission as a Cooperating Non-Party State only with the benefit of participating in each convention.
Ecuador is the second country in the world in terms of tuna catches. Between 2014 and 2017, fishing reached an annual average of 280,000 metric tons, placing the country in the first place in the eastern Pacific, with a 45.5 per cent participation, according to IATTC data.
- Ministry of Production prohibits tuna fishing until October