The Ministry of Aquaculture and Fisheries through the delegation of the Undersecretariat of Fisheries, represented by Mr. Jorge Costaín, makes public the National Regulation of Management of FADs, because this is an activity that generates a significant supply for processors Industry and fishers of tuna, generating in the last 20 years positive economic and social impacts to Ecuador.

Purse-seine vessels capture 86% of the total catch of skipjack, yellowfin and bigeye tuna, corresponding to 69% of the catch by sets on “floating objects” (including FADs). (ISSF Technical Report – 2017-02A).

“FADs”, are floating objects, natural or artificial, that fishers use to attract fish and facilitate their catch. Fads are in the focus of a global discussion on the long-term sustainability of tuna stocks and the impact on the marine ecosystem.

The main objective of the Plan is “To strengthen the sustainable management and responsible use of the aggregating devices in the tuna fishery with purse seines, maintaining the operational efficiency of the tuna purse seiner fleet through the implementation of standards, actions and new technologies”.

Specific objectives. –

▪ Establish a register of floating objects with their characteristics.

▪ Improve the collection of information through the implementation of technology platforms.

▪ Contribute to the knowledge of the composition by species of the catch in sets of FADs and their spatial and temporal variability.

▪ Deepen knowledge about the possible impacts of FADs on ecosystems and species.

▪ Establish information exchange mechanisms between shipowners, scientists and administrations, in order to achieve a better understanding and its implications.

▪ Design prototypes of FADs that cause less impact to the marine ecosystem through non-entangling and degradable materials.

Background

TUNACONS promoted the base of the proposal to the Authority, which was socialized in the National Workshop in Manta on June 27 and 28, 2018, then the Authority analyzed it; and now is a National Regulation.

It is the result of intersectoral workshops involving the Ministry of Aquaculture and Fisheries, the Undersecretariat of Fisheries Resources, National Fisheries Chamber, ATUNEC, companies part of FIP TUNACONS, private shipowners, WWF ECUADOR and the National Fisheries Institute.

According to comments from the industry, the close collaboration of the public sector and private companies has achieved a great step for the Ecuadorian tuna industry with the same vision: “to strengthen competitiveness”.

During the workshop the work fields  and the inherent follow-up to the technical and orderly management of FADs were outlined, the strategies of the tuna sector were discussed based on the current regulations of the IATTC and the practical experiences of the shipowners.

The Ministry of Aquaculture and Fisheries supports all national projects that implement fishing improvement activities and seek to make fishing activity sustainable.

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