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Purse seiner of the Ecuadorian tuna fleet. (Photo: Stock File)

Ecuadorian fleet captured 18pct more tuna in EPO

Click on the flag for more information about Ecuador ECUADOR
Saturday, October 07, 2017, 00:50 (GMT + 9)

Ecuador's tuna catches in the Eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) reached 223,081 tonnes in the first eight months of this year, an increase of 18.3 per cent over the same period in 2016, according to statistics from the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC).

In its latest report, the IATTC reported that the total tuna catch in the region was 464,809 tonnes. Ecuador contributed 48 per cent of this volume while Mexico was in second place with a participation of 18.2 per cent (84,828 tonnes), and Panama in the third place with 10.5 per cent (48,805 tonnes).

The skipjack tuna represented the largest tuna fishery by the Ecuadorian fleet in EPO waters, with 152,526 tonnes, followed by yellowfin tuna with 40,466 tonnes and bigeye tuna with 28,612 tonnes.

Guillermo Morán, manager of the Tunacons project, made up of the tuna companies Nirsa, Eurofish, Jadran, Servigroup and TriMarine, predicts that the sector expects to close the year with better tuna catch and export figures compared to 2016. The National Chamber of Fishery (CNP) shares this forecast, El Telégrafo reported.

"In the month-to-month comparison of the 2016-2017 catches, it can be observed that in 2017 catches were above those in 2016 in all species with the exception of March and April in the case of yellowfin tuna. As regards skipjack tuna, the best catches were recorded in March, April and June. Catches of bigeye tuna show a significant increase compared to the previous year, especially in July, maintaining its record high catches so far in 2017," the CNP reported on its website.

Morán also noted that good prices and tuna abundance in the first months of the year have helped the sector to improve its exports," especially to the European market."

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