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Ecuador Proposes 2 Month Tuna Fishing Ban

The Undersecretary of Fisheries, Guillermo Moran, said that Ecuador will seek consensus with the member countries of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) to adopt a biological tuna ban in the Eastern Pacific this year for the period of 59 days.

The meeting took place last month in Manta, with the Director of the IATTC, Mr. Guillermo Compean. During the meeting, Mr. Moran emphasized Ecuador’s role last year in implementing a 42-day ban even though there was no agreement reached with other 15 tuna nations.

"Ecuador has maintained its position to impose conservation measures because the tuna resources are extremely important for the country.”

“Not only did we comply with a 42 day-ban, but also applied a second 30 day-ban to protect bigeye juvenile tuna,” the official said.
In addition, and at Ecuador’s own initiative the country is also implementing sorting grids, on vessels with category six, since January
to prevent the catch of juvenile tuna.

Mr. Moran added that sorting grids is a technological tool new in the world that helps reduce the catch of juveniles. The initiative is supported by the Ecuadorian Government and the private sector.

It is also important for Ecuador that, while the tuna ban is active at the south of the line 5 degrees north, it is not crossed by other vessels regularly operating in the north and vice versa.

Mr. Moran also reported that the national government will allocate funds to begin a tagging program for bigeye tuna proposed by IATTC. The project will be conducted by technicians from Manta and the Ecuadorian fisheries agency.

It will help improve the information on the evaluation of this species and clarify the conservation measures to be adopted, as well as support the specialism of the national professionals who manage data on this fishery and tuna species of tuna.