From 07:00 on this August 20, around 60 artisanal fishermen from Chanduy, Santa Elena, Engabao, Playas and other sectors held a peaceful demonstration on the Progreso-Guayaquil road to publicize their dissatisfaction with the crisis that crosses the sector.
The intention of the protesters, who carried signs of rejection to the management of the Ministry of Aquaculture and Fisheries (MAP), was to close the way, however, the members of the National Police and the Traffic Commission prevented it.
Between the demands of the fishermen they are: greater maritime security, respect to the 8 nautical miles, that is exclusive for their tasks (and that nowadays they are seen to boats chinchorreros, bolicheros and other industriles), as well as the exit of Katuska Drouet as head of the MAP.
Roberto Cruz, fisherman from Playas, mentioned that the current situation of the guild is critical, since they have to leave until 17 or 20 nautical miles to bring between half or a fish drawer. “Due to the presence of industrial boats, white fishing (croaker, carita and others) has disappeared in several places of the coastal profile of Guayas, so we are now engaged in shrimp fishing,” said Cruz.
He added that they spend $ 25 on fuel, which plus worker payment, food and other costs, add up to $ 40 of daily investment in a fishing task, “for example, if we take about 10 pounds of shrimp, which we sell at $ 5 the pound, we only have $ 10 of profit, and with that it is very difficult to continue in the activity “.
While Gabriela Cruz, president of the Federation of Artisanal Fisheries Cooperatives of Ecuador (Fenacopec), said that the protests will continue these days, in places and time to be defined, one of them will be in Guayaquil and Quito, because it states that “the situation of fishermen is critical and unsustainable.”
In addition, he reiterated the request to the National Government to declare in emergency the artisanal fishing sector. “One of the issues that we are asking the Government is the fishing reordering, that the whole chinchorrera fleet be removed from the 8 nautical miles, since the species is running out and our people go fishing and come with half a drawer fishing beyond 8 miles is dangerous, since they rob us,”Cruz emphasized.
During the protest, which concluded around 09:30, the Zonal Coordinator 5 of the MAP, Boris Ayala, spoke with some fishermen and invited them for this August 21 to a meeting with the Vice Minister of Aquaculture, Susana Villacís, and a representative of BanEcuador, in Playas, at 14:00, to try to find immediate solutions to the problems of the sector. “The security issue is not the responsibility of us, but of the Armed Forces, and what is done is controls with us as far as possible,” said Ayala. In Balao there was also a protest by artisanal fishermen, with no further news reported. (I)