Wednesday, 14 November 2018 09:38

Ecuador: Toothfish to be eligible for eco-certification

EM6 18 News Int ToothfishEcuador has joined the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) as a non-Contracting Cooperating Party, the conservation body announced. As a result, Ecuador can now catch Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides), obtain registration and certification of origin, and export the tightly regulated fish to markets around the world. The species is often marketed as Chilean seabass, regardless of the country of origin.

Patagonian toothfish is a threatened species, owing in large part to IUU fishing. It is a large fish and grows slowly, making it susceptible to overfishing in general, and IUU fishing greatly exacerbates the problem. Therefore, CCAMLR has taken responsibility for international regulation of Patagonian toothfish and requires countries to register exports in its Catch Documentation System (SDC).

Ecuador has only a limited history of harvesting the species, so much information has yet to be collected on the species’ geographic distribution and population levels. CCAMLR has implemented a series of rules and regulations for the management of marine ecosystems in the Convention Area, thus protecting Antarctic marine living resources such as Patagonian toothfish while allowing fishing activities related to this resource. Ecuador’s accession to CCAMLR as a non-Contracting Cooperative Party significantly helps this effort.