Ecuador launches its FiTI National Multi-Stakeholder Group, the first in Latin America

Ecuador launches its FiTI National Multi-Stakeholder Group, the first in Latin America

Manta, 30 September 2022. Representatives of public sector institutions, the commercial fishing sector (industrial and artisanal) and civil society met today to launch the National Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) of the FiTI in Ecuador. This launch was led by the Ministry of Production, Foreign Trade, Investment and Fisheries (MPCEIP), through the Vice-Ministry of Aquaculture and Fisheries (VAP).

The National MSG will be responsible for leading the implementation process of the FiTI Standard in the country, which aims to improve transparency and promote the sustainability of fishing in the sea.

The National MSG is chaired by the VAP, comprising 18 institutions from the public sector, fishing sector and civil society, divided as follow:

Public sectorBusiness sector*Civil society sector
Undersecretary of Fishery ResourcesSociety of Producers and Marketers of Marine Ingredients of Ecuador (INMARE)Conservation International Ecuador
National Directorate of Aquatic Spaces (DIRNEA)COBUS GroupWWF Ecuador
Ministry of Environment, Water and Ecological TransitionNational Chamber of Fisheries (CNP)**Tuna Conservation Group (TUNACONS)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human MobilityGalapagos Artisanal Fishing Organizations Corporation (CORPAG)Citizenship and Development Foundation
Public Institute for Aquaculture and Fisheries Research (IPIAP)Association of Fishing Production of Manta Shipowners (ASOAMAN)Eloy Alfaro Lay University of Manabí (ULEAM)
National Directorate of Public Records (DINARP)National Federation of Fishing Cooperatives of Ecuador (FENACOPEC)College of Biologists of Manabi (COBIM)

* The Business sector is equally divided between three industrial (large-scale) and three artisanal (small-scale) fishing organisations.

** Initially, the National Chamber of Fisheries (CNP) is the main representative of Ecuador’s tuna industry in the FiTI National MSG; the Ecuadorian Chamber of Industrialists and Tuna Processors (CEIPA) and the Association of Tuna Fishermen of Ecuador (ATUNEC) serve as Alternates to the CNP. After a period of time, a rotating mechanism will be applied, so that each of the three tuna industry representatives will eventually serve as the main representative in this group.

“The creation of this group is a milestone for the country and for all of Latin America, as it is the first national multi-stakeholder group created in the region where civil society organizations, academia, the artisanal and industrial fishing sector, and the government collaborate to improve transparency in fisheries management”, said Vice Minister of Aquaculture and Fisheries Andrés Arens in his opening remarks.

Vice Minister of Aquaculture and Fisheries, Mr Andrés Arens, Chair of the National Multi-Stakeholder Group, during his opening remarks.

Nicolás Rovegno, FiTI Regional Coordinator for Latin America, stated that SDG 17 emphasises that these types of alliances in which the government, private sector and civil society come together are key to sustainability, which demonstrates the importance of this first step for Ecuador to become a country that complies with the FiTI Standard”.

The FiTI Standard is the only internationally recognized framework that defines what fisheries management information should be published online by national authorities.

FiTI’s Regional coordinator for Latin America, Nicolás Rovegno, during his presentation at the event.

During the event, the preliminary results of the TAKING STOCK assessment for Ecuador were also presented, which will serve as a baseline for the MSG to define the areas where work should be done to improve transparency in the fishing sector. The final evaluation will be published in the following months and was carried out in conjunction with Conservation International Ecuador, an organization that will also participate in the NMG.

Nelson Zambrano from Conservation International Ecuador commented that “with the publication of this assessment we are going to have a general vision of the work of the State when sharing important information with the public, such as fishing laws, the state of fish stocks, labor standards or information on final beneficiaries, among others”.

Biologist Nelson Zambrano from Conservation International Ecuador, member of the FiTI National Multi-Stakeholder Group in Ecuador

The FiTI MSG event in Ecuador concluded with a plenary discussion regarding the group’s preliminary Terms of Reference, and the upcoming steps necessary to develop its workplan. Once this two final steps have been concluded, the National MSG will be able to submit the country’s official FiTI Candidate application to the FiTI International Board.

In his closing remarks, Vice-Ministery Arens, in his capacity as Chair of the FiTI National MSG in Ecuador, stressed that “transparency helps us to be better and builds bonds of trust that are so necessary for the governance of our sector.” In addition, he added that “throughout this process we will achieve profound changes for the sustainability of our fisheries so that they benefit all Ecuadorians.”