Eastern Pacific Ocean Tropical Tuna Purse Seine
FIP Stage: 4 (Improvements in Fishing Practices or Fishery Management)
Last Updated: September 2019
Ecuador is a major world player in the tuna industry. In the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO), Ecuador has the largest purse seine fleet, the main capture and the biggest processing capacity. The industry generates an income to the country of 1.2 billion dollars and employs, directly and indirectly, approximately 50,000 people in the coastal region of Ecuador. The main fishing method used by the Ecuadorian fleet is setting on fish aggregating devices (FADs), and the main species captured is skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis). The fishery is managed by the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) based on the Antigua Convention. The main tuna stocks (i.e., yellowfin tuna, bigeye tuna and skipjack tuna) are close to maximum sustainable yield. In the TUNACONS group there are 44 fishing vessels representing 17% of the total fleet operating in the EPO.
Critical issues challenging the fishery include overcapacity of the fishing fleet and the impact of the use of FADs on tuna populations and other marine species (e.g., sharks).
The active involvement of FIP Stakeholders including WWF Ecuador, the Ministry of Foreign Trade, the National Fisheries Institute (INP), and the Fishery School of the EPO (EPESPO), and FIP Participants drives improvements against the Marine Stewardship Council standard.
WHAT WE ARE DOING
FIP efforts address governance, fishing practices, and environmental impacts of the fishery so that it can meet the MSC standard. This work is steered by FIP participants and FIP stakeholders and includes:
We encourage action across the supply chain to support FIP progress. A FIP Participant is an industry member that is part of the seafood supply chain for the FIP product and is actively engaged in supporting the FIP.
PROGRESS AND ACTIVITY
The Marine Stewardship Council uses 28 performance indicators to assess the sustainability of fisheries. The chart represents the percentage of indicators that would likely pass, pass with conditions for improvement, or fail upon the fishery’s full assessment.
Eastern Pacific Ocean Tropical Tuna Purse Seine (TUNACONS) FIP Status
We use a step-wise process to evaluate the fishery’s performance and identify sustainability issues, and then to implement improvements and report results. Want to dive deeper into this FIP’s progress on each of the MSC performance indicators? Visit FisheryProgress.org.
FIP OUTCOMES TO DATE
The fishery has achieved the following impacts through improved practices and management
Other efforts to promote a sustainable future for Ecuador’s fisheries
August 7, 2018
Another critically important fishery to Ecuador, the mahi mahi fishery, is one of the country’s most valuable artisanal fisheries and products are primarily exported to the United States. To promote a sustainable future for this critical fishery, Ecuador’s undersecretary of fisheries resources, in collaboration with WWF, launched the Ecuador Mahi Mahi FIP in 2010.