The inhabitants of the San Rafael neighborhood, Palmar, devote part of the year to filleting corvina de roca that they sell to the national market. The rest of the months are aimed at raising nauplio.
For the Pueblo Montubio association, in the commune of Palmar, province of Santa Elena, things are not going well. Sales of cut croaker have declined; the fish is in the months of absence. The lack of work is distancing the associates, said Luis Medardo Piguave, 55 years old, who for seven years has been part of the group of community members.
Filletting fish and selling them to different provinces of the country was the activity that brought together some 30 families in the San Rafael neighborhood and that until next July will be almost 100% paralyzed.
The work begins at night getting the corvinas to the fishermen of the commune. The product was stored in the existing refrigerator. The collection of seafood in this sector has been carried out at night, traditional days of the peninsular worker; once the capture was completed everything was prepared for the piecework from 08:00 to 18:00.
At the beginning it was paid for each pound of shellfish between $ 0.15 and $ 0.20, which allowed to sell the processed product (frozen and sheathed) at $ 0.90 per 453.592 grams. Over time the costs of receiving the product increased and marketing prices also: to $ 2.50, said Piguave.
The man criticized that in the seven years of the Association they never received help from the State or any other entity and due to this they had to borrow for the benefit of all the comuneros. The debt for the purchase of the refrigerators is not over.
Piguave says that the drop in catch is due to the large vessels taking fish of all sizes, damaging not only our activity but the ecosystem of the area. The fishermen who venture to look for the fish sell it for drawers that can cost from $ 30 to $ 90 and store up to 120 small specimens. Piguave believes that due to unfair competition from the fishing fleets that roam the area (larger boats) the artisans are left without work, that also causes damage to the ecosystem.
The representative of the association, who does not lose hope of activating this business all year round, asks the seafood companies to employ with greater responsibility the catches of very small specimens.
The association can process up to 10 tons of fish fillet, total storage capacity of the facilities that were acquired with a loan to the Corporación Financiera Nacional (CFN).
For Carmen Noemí, there are only a few weeks to go back to the activity. In July the fish along with the orders return, the commoner mentioned. The woman explained that the marketing takes place every 15 or 20 days and that for that reason the iron tables that the association has are full.
Another group is engaged in cooking to prepare the group’s food, he added. The requests of the product meanwhile will continue arriving from the clients of places like Loja, Santo Domingo, Cuenca, Guayaquil, Ambato, Naranjal, etc. While part of the community expects reactivation of the piece of croaker, it continues to promote the operation of nine shrimp hatcheries.
The structures built with cane and plastics are served by eight workers shared in three shifts. They are responsible for feeding the planting of the 20 million nauplii that will become an average of 15 million larvae of the crustacean, said Ausberto Quimí Quimí.
The expert has experience with swimming pools in the sector of Monteverde and together with his nephews are the column of the venture. The remuneration of the workers is a basic salary and an additional one at the end of the sale of the larvae.
Quimí, who has been in this business for almost a decade, explained that currently, due to the competition, every million larvae can have a cost in the market of $ 1,300. (I)