Ecuador - Fishing

In the waters around the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador has some of the world's richest fishing grounds, particularly for tuna. In the past, these waters were exploited mainly by foreign companies, but in recent years, Ecuadoran enterprises have participated more fully. Shifts in ocean currents can cause great variance in the annual catch. Ecuador is a leading producer of canned tuna. Shrimp farming occupies some 110,000 hectares (over 270,000 acres). Ecuador produces more shrimp than any other nation in the Americas, and exports more than 35,000 tons annually, mostly to the United States. Rainbow trout aquaculture is being developed in the Andean highlands. The total catch in 2000 was 592,547 tons, down from 1,003,380 tons in 1986. Exports of fish and fish products in 2000 totaled $587.1 million.

Ecuador proclaimed sovereignty over its coastal waters to a limit of 200 km. In 1952, along with Peru and Chile, Ecuador signed the Declaration of Santiago (joined later by Colombia) to enforce these rights.

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