Cooperativa Cañeros de Manta, the fisheries association based in Manta, Ecuador, which represents the interests of the local pole-and-line tuna fishery and the people that it supports, has become the latest Member of the International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF), the non-profit association that is committed to developing and supporting responsible one-by-one tuna fisheries and supply chains.
Established in 2011, Cooperativa Cañeros de Manta works to safeguard the region’s traditional pole-and-line fishing method and its marine environment whilst also generating opportunities for additional employment. This fishery dates back to the 1940s, but has shrunk considerably in recent decades as industrialized operations have come to dominate the Ecuadorian tuna fishery.
The Ministry of Aquaculture and Fisheries in Ecuador works with Cooperativa Cañeros de Manta to strengthen this fishery, by gathering information regarding the activity, training in organizational issues and supporting initiatives that help the development and promotion of their products. This ratifies the government's support for the work carried out by the cooperative’s 120 members.
In addition, the Secretary of State supports the organization through a Fishery Improvement Project , to ensure the continuity and growth of its activity.
Augusto López Zambrano, president of the Cañeros de Manta Cooperative, says: "Together with the Ecuadorian government, through the Ministry of Aquaculture and Fisheries, we want to build a future for this ancestral tuna fishery. We are determined to strengthen and grow while raising the profile of our sustainable products in the international markets. We believe that by joining the network of IPNLF members and working with the partnership to achieve our objectives, we will provide enhanced benefits to our fishing community."
Through its membership of IPNLF, Cooperativa Cañeros de Manta joins a growing network of tuna supply chain stakeholders from all over the world that are supporting efforts to enhance the supply of one-by-one caught tuna, and strengthening the value that these fisheries bring to the communities connected to them.
Martin Purves, Managing Director of IPNLF, comments, "We are delighted to welcome Cooperativa Cañeros de Manta into our Member network. While this partnership expands our engagement to a new region, the challenges faced by the pole-and-line fishery in Ecuador is similar to those faced by many other one-by-one fisheries in the world. Particularly the threat that large-scale industrial tuna fishing operations has on their long-term survival. Together, we will work to ensure this traditional fishery is recognised as an iconic, sustainable, and socially responsible tuna fishery in South America.”