The tuna companies NIRSA, EUROFISH, JADRAN, SERVIGRUP and TRIMARINE that are associated in TUNACONS to promote a project to improve the tuna fishery with purse seine in the Eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) is making alliances and investigations to contribute to the management of this fishery and its relationship with the long-term sustainability of tuna stocks and their ecological impact.
In this sense TUNACONS signed this week with the National Fisheries Institute of Ecuador (NFI) a Memorandum of Understanding with the objective of formalize and provide a technical cooperation framework to develop an On-Board Monitoring Program and Scientific and Technological Investigation on the Tuna Industrial Fishing fleet with purse seine less than class 6 according to the classification of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) that achieve the objectives of the FIP Action Plan developed by TUNACONS.
The FIP contemplates in its Action Plan the extension of the monitoring in order to have an adequate record and analysis of the objective and incidental catches in sets on floating objects and breezes, and on this technical basis they will adopted strategies to improve recommended conservation actions by the IATTC and the government of Ecuador. The entire purse-seine tuna fleet under class 6 represents approximately 5% of the total purse-seine tuna fleet capacity operating in the EPO.
The NFI will be in charge of selecting, training and preparing the observers that will go on board the fleet of companies that are part of TUNACONS and have this class of ships, in accordance with the standards used by the IATTC, through qualified observers or through instructors who give training courses to prepare new observers, in a way that they achieve their certification and qualification to constitute themselves as observers of the APICD and / or PROBECUADOR Program; as well as the design of the materials for collecting technical information necessary to achieve the objectives of the Program.
The NFI also committed to prepare and present:
• Quarterly scientific and technical reports on catches and companion species.
• Reports of the results of objective and non-objective captures of the monitoring by ship.
• Annual report on the status of the objective and non-objective captures.
The NFI will also provide qualified human resources, equipment and counterpart infrastructure for the development of certain activities required by the Program that has a validity of three years with an option to be renewed.

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