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Ecuador Hosts First Forum On Tuna Sustainability In EPO

The Ecuadorian tuna industry convenes today for its first sustainable tuna conference. The Regional Forum On Tuna Sustainability will hold a two day agenda, with industry speakers approaching various issues surrounding the future sustainability tuna in the Eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO).

Ecuador is the third largest tuna processing nation, and takes second place for global tuna product exports. Ecuador exported more than 154,000 tons of canned tuna and pre-cooked loins in 2012. For over two decades, the South American country has boasted the largest tuna fishing fleet in operation in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

But now, at a time where increasing concerns are raised on the future of the tuna resource, Ecuador has made the decision to host its first ever sustainability forum, focusing on the long-term existence of tuna stocks in the EPO. The forum will be held at the Hotel Oro Verde in Manta and has been organized by the Ecuadorian Chamber of Industrial and Processed Tuna (Ceipa).

With more than 100 people said to have confirmed attendance, presentations will be given on subjects ranging from the state of tuna fishing around the globe, world market trends and promotion of fish consumption, and eco-labeling.

Among the 18 scheduled speakers at the event, talks will include several representatives from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) as well as Juan Vieites of Anfaco, Spain and Adolfo Valsecchi the former CEO of MW Brands addressing the floor on the international tuna market and consumption.

Ecuador is an important tuna processing nation for Spain, with the majority of the EU country’s tuna imports being made up of its products. Ecuador accounts for around 68 percent of Spain’s canned tuna imports and 32 percent of its volume of imported tuna loins. Spanish canneries depend greatly on pre-cooked loins from Ecuador, and several Spanish companies have investments in Ecuador within the canning and fisheries sector.

Currently, the GSP plus status of Ecuador with the European Union, which grants it zero duty is under review and the present prefential trade agreement would end December 31st 2013.