The FiTI International Board is pleased to announce that Ecuador has been approved as the fourth FiTI Candidate Country globally, and the first in the Americas. The country’s Candidacy Application was discussed and reviewed by the FiTI Board, which noted that Ecuador had been the fastest country to complete the process from the commitment to the candidacy stage.
Ecuador’s application comprehensively described the process to complete the six sign-up steps required to present the candidacy. It included the country’s public commitment to the FiTI, establishing a National Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG), and preparing, approving, and submitting the MSG’s terms of reference and workplan. It is worth noting that the MSG’s workplan also incorporated inputs from the recently completed TAKING STOCK assessment for Ecuador about the levels of transparency of the marine fishing sector against the FiTI Standard.
Ecuador’s candidate application sets an example for other countries in the Americas. And, as Ecuador implements the FiTI, it will benefit from transparency in fisheries to improve its management further. According to the declarations of Mr Andrés Arens, Ecuador’s Vice-Minister of Aquaculture and Fisheries: “it is very significant for Ecuador to be the first country within the region to join the FiTI, and we hope to lead the way, so with other countries, we can achieve regional transparency of the fishing sector. We encourage other countries to follow suit and join the FiTI”.
Dr Valeria Merino, Chair of FiTI’s International Board, stated in her official recognition letter: “I’m pleased to announce that Ecuador has become the first FiTI Candidate Country in the Americas, and it makes me particularly proud that my home country has taken this decisive step to embrace fisheries transparency per the FiTI Standard. This candidacy is the result of the joint effort made by the members of the FiTI National Multi-Stakeholder Group members in charge of implementing the FiTI, with the indispensable leadership of the Ecuadorian government.”
Ecuador’s completion of the six required sign-up steps has laid the foundation for a successful implementation of the FiTI. The following year’s activities have already been planned, and Ecuador expects to publish its first FiTI report in 2023 (covering calendar year 2022).
The FiTI Report – produced under the responsibility of the country’s FiTI National MSG – will assess the accessibility, completeness, and timeliness of information on the fishing sector published by the government. This assessment will cover a range of fisheries management information, such as laws and policy documents, foreign fishing access agreements, stock information, and payment and catch data from large and small-scale fishing vessels. Key information will be published in an aggregated and summarized fashion to support public understanding and engagement in decision-making. The report will also include the FiTI National MSG’s recommendations to help the government improve transparency levels over time.
The Ecuadorian Government and the country’s FiTI National MSG were supported by the FiTI International Secretariat and our local partner Conservation International Ecuador during this initial sign-up phase.
Information regarding the official acceptance letter of Ecuador as a FiTI Candidate Country and the country’s candidate application package can be found here.