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Sunken Longliner Obstructs Manta’s Tuna Port Ecuador, January 11, 13

The tuna port in Manta, Ecuador is already heavily congested with traffic and now there’s one more obstacle to navigate around, a 51.3 m longliner that sank in the northwest part of the harbor on Jan. 3.
The vessel, named Tatsumi, is owned by Maria Eugenia Paul and had been anchored in the port since Dec. 2009, after it broke down during a fishing trip. It had a cargo capacity of 183 tons and it was able to carry 30 crew members.
The Manta tuna port has shallow waters that are between 10 and 12 m deep and on average, about 500 boats are parked in the harbor at any given time. Traffic is normal at all hours of the day, with captains trying to offload fish or replenish supplies, and accidents do happen – especially when there are sunken ships to avoid. Since 1999, there have been five collisions or resulting shipwrecks in the port, one official says. He adds that 20 small and medium wooden boats sank before 1995.
The monthly fee to park a vessel in the port is between USD 15-17. Every anchored boat is supposed to be serviced every three months by law, to prevent fuel and oil leakage from polluting the water, but this doesn’t always happen, says a local boatowner. Many boats deteriorate and sink because they are not maintained.