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Tuna Companies joined to achieve the Marine Stewardship Council Certification in TUNA Conservation through a Fisheries Improvement Project

TUNACONS highlights its sustainable commitment with different actions for the conservation of tuna in the EPO

Click on the flag for more information about Ecuador ECUADOR
Wednesday, May 15, 2019, 09:00 (GMT + 9)


Regarding The 2nd Meeting of the Joint Working Group of tuna RFMOs on FADs, which is being carried out in San Diego, we highlight the work that FIPs are doing worldwide, which is undoubtedly the industry's greatest effort. by taking the initiative to minimize negative impacts on ecosystems and avoid over-fishing of some populations.

For the certification or eco-labeling processes for the tuna fishery in Plantados, FIPs have been able to integrate the main agents of this chain into the sustainable management processes: Shipowners, Crewmen, Main Executives of the processing companies and marketers and especially to consumers.

Tunacons highlights some of the milestones achieved by the Ecuadorian industry for the conservation of tuna, clearly demonstrating that the fishery in the country and in the FIP is operated in a responsible and sustainable way through:

  • Two years of progress in testing 100% vegetable fiber materials to assemble non-entangling and degradable EcoFADs (NEDfads or BioFADs).
  • Exchange of opinion workshops to achieve a new proposal of sorting grids that increases the effectiveness of this tool to release juveniles.
  • Collaborate with the strengthening of the evaluating models of tuna stocks in the EPO
  • The constant training of the crew members on Good Practices on board in the management and release of the sensitive bycatch that interacts with the purse seine fishery in the EPO, such as the silky shark or the olive ridley turtle and the leatherback turtle.
  • The Plan for the management of FADs for the Ecuadorian tuna purse-seine fleet.


FADs are a highly effective way to improve catch rates and reduce operating costs in tuna fishing. However, its use has been associated with a series of potential negative impacts, which is why the need to manage them properly.

In August 2018, through the Ministerial Agreement-176A, Ecuador adopted the Fish Aggregator Management Plan, which aims to conserve the resource, and maintain the operational efficiency of the Ecuadorian tuna fleet through the implementation of standards, actions and new technologies. In this way, Ecuador became the first country in the region to stipulate a Plan of this nature through a national ordinance. As an example to be replicated by the countries that have this fishery in different oceans.

This Plan was developed within the framework of the fishery improvement project that TUNACONS has been implementing with the technical support of WWF. The process to elaborate the Plan, took more than a year, with many consultations to different actors at national level, including the main tuna guilds.

The management plan is important for a country like Ecuador, which has a tuna fleet that mainly fishes with FADs. The most important thing to note is that the initiative emerged from TUNACONS, and ended up becoming a national priority, and as such, was included in public policy to manage fisheries resources in a sustainable manner.

The specific objectives of this Plan are:

  • 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 the sets of FADs and their spatial and temporal variability.
  • Deepen knowledge about the possible impacts of FADs on ecosystems and species.
  • Establish mechanisms to exchange information among 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.

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