The Habla Tiburón project will apply effective fisheries management to ensure the viability of shark and ray species through a combination of strategies including economic benefits and incentives to local communities.
Galapagos, June 28, 2023. The United States Government announced its support yesterday to address illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing of sharks and rays in Ecuadorian waters through the Habla Tiburón project. The objective is to apply effective fisheries management to ensure the long-term viability of shark and ray populations, through a combination of strategies including economic benefits and incentives to local communities. The United States Government is contributing $11.9 million to the project over five years.
Through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with the Charles Darwin Foundation and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Ecuador, the project seeks to train fishing communities in Ecuador to become leading commercial hubs for responsibly sourced seafood in the region and internationally.
The Habla Tiburón launch event was held at the Charles Darwin Research Station where authorities from the Government of Ecuador, the United States Government, representatives of WWF Ecuador and the Charles Darwin Foundation, and representatives of the fishermen’s cooperative attended. “This project will significantly contribute to lowering shark and ray mortality to ecologically acceptable levels and to eliminating illegal fishing by the large pelagic artisanal fleet,” said Daniel Sánchez-Bustamante, USAID Director in Ecuador.
The project will partner with the Government of Ecuador to create a working group on sharks and rays that includes the entire Ecuadorian fishing sector. The project will promote economic development and inclusive decision-making to empower diverse and disadvantaged stakeholders, including women and people with disabilities.
With this contribution, the United States demonstrates its commitment to the sustainability of Ecuador’s seascape and the long-term viability of shark and ray populations in the Ecuadorian sea through enhanced participatory governance, economic improvements, and social inclusion.