Today in Ecuador, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced that it will work with Congress to provide $9.7 million to address the illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing of sharks and rays in Ecuadorian waters, including the Galapagos Islands, pending the availability of funds.
The dramatic increase in IUU fishing by both international and domestic fishing fleets in Ecuadorian waters and particularly around the Galapagos Islands has resulted in a severe decline of shark and ray populations. If left unaddressed, overexploitation of sharks and rays in Ecuador could threaten not only these two important species.
In partnership with the Charles Darwin Foundation and World Wildlife Foundation Ecuador, USAID’s Habla Tiburon project will develop an innovative three-part governance framework for sustainable fishing and effective conservation of sharks and rays in Ecuador.
The Habla Tiburon project will partner with the Government of Ecuador to establish a task force on sharks and rays that includes all relevant stakeholders in the fisheries sector. At the community level, the project will promote broad-based economic development and inclusive decision-making to empower diverse and historically marginalized stakeholders, including women and persons with disabilities.