Ecuador becomes first Latin American country to join FiTI
Ecuador is the first Latin American country to join the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI), a move that is aimed at giving it the lead in promoting fisheries transparency in Latin America.
FiTI is a global multi-stakeholder partnership focused on increasing transparency and collaboration in marine fisheries management. Ecuador is the seventh country to officially join FiTI, after Mauritania, Seychelles, Senegal, Cabo Verde, Madagascar, and São Tomé and Príncipe.
“Being part of the FiTI reinforces the importance that transparency is a value that is not presumed, but demonstrated,” Ecuador Vice-Minister Andrés Arens said. “As a government, we reiterate our commitment to manage fisheries in a responsible and transparent manner.”
Arens said the effort “will mark a before and after in Ecuador’s fisheries administration.”
Fishing activities in Ecuador generate more than USD 1.6 billion (EUR 1.5 billion) in exports, and is responsible for more than 250,000 jobs. Through Ecuador’s commitment to FiTI, it hopes to promote enhanced public access to information in the fishing sector that will benefit its overall food security.
“On behalf of the FiTI, and as an Ecuadorian by birth, I am delighted that Ecuador has become a leader in the region by adhering to our initiative,” FiTI International Board Chair Valeria Merino said. “I trust that the authorities’ commitment, together with the contribution of the private sector and civil society, will improve the levels of transparency contributing to more sustainable fishing in Ecuador, for the benefit of all Ecuadorians and the planet.”
Ecuador’s overall objective is to improve its fisheries transparency through a participatory process that involves different actors in the seafood sector in accordance with the principles of FiTI. By improving transparency and inclusivity, the FiTI promotes public debates on fisheries policies to support long-term contributions from the sector.
Continued technical guidance will be provided by the FiTI International Secretariat, in coordination with Conservation International Ecuador, to ensure Ecuador’s candidate application to the FiTI is completed.
Photo courtesy of the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI)