Ecuador’s Small Pelagics FIP, developed by the Ecuadorian National Chamber of Fisheries with the support of the Vice Ministry of Aquaculture and Fisheries and the Ecuadorian Public Research Institute of Aquaculture and Fisheries, was awarded a recognition alongside 499 other projects at Premios Verdes’ 10th edition in January 2023. The project was in competition with 3,026 projects from 795 cities in 33 countries and qualified as part of the Habitat and Ecosystem Conservation category.
Premios Verdes is an Ecuadorian initiative with a global scope, which started in 2013 within the International Environment Summit (CIMA) framework. Its ambition is to find, connect and amplify changemakers across the world.
Sixteen Ecuadorean fishing and processing firms, two traders and four international feed producers signed up in 2018 to take collaborative action within the Ecuador FIP. The aim was to improve management of the small pelagic fishery in Ecuador, demonstrate sustainability and become eligible to join MarinTrust’s Improver Programme. A major benefit of the small pelagics FIP is that several local fishmeal and fish oil-producing companies have achieved recognition by the MarinTrust Improver Programme and increased their competitiveness in the world market. Others are working towards it as there is also a growing need to provide certified feed for the country’s growing shrimp industry. In this respect, the work of the FIP has also been connected to that of Ecuador’s Sustainable Shrimp Partnership (SSP), set up by the country’s largest players who are committed to transforming the future of the sector. More information about the FIP can be found on the MarinTrust website and also on the Global Marine Commodities website.
The project had a rating of 93.44 points out of 100, with excellent comments from Premios Verdes’ International Technical Commission:
- 'The proposal has many strengths, including the interlinking of strategic actors, belonging to different stages of the value chain. In addition to the government’s participation and international cooperation, clarity is given of the direct and indirect impacts, and the proposal of a fishing business model, associated with the promotion of the value chain. Adding climate components can open up new sources of financing.'
- 'It's a fantastic project, with clear and measurable impact. They may want to consider alliances with universities to use all the data that they have collected, so that thesis students relate them to climate action and biodiversity and demonstrate that you contribute to the 2030 goals of Ecuador. The idea can be replicated in neighbouring countries. What a great challenge they have achieved in organising all these actors.'
- 'This is an important project that promotes sustainable fisheries and contributes to the current challenges for the management of natural resources. Congratulations!'
Marine ingredients play a pivotal role in aquatic and land animal feed as well as in the health supplement industry. We work to demonstrate that marine ingredients are responsibly sourced and produced through two international third-party certification standards:
- The Factory Standard covers the sourcing and production of marine ingredients at the factory. The unit of certification is the factory, but the Standard ensures that the ingredients come from non-IUU fisheries that are well managed in accordance with the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. It guarantees that production is carried out to high standards of safety and quality, with sufficient care given to the environment, workforce and local community.
- The MarinTrust Chain of Custody (CoC) Standard allows businesses in the supply chain to be recognised for their use of MarinTrust certified ingredients. These can include processors, packers, storage providers, oil refiners and traders who can demonstrate that the marine ingredients come from a MarinTrust certified factory, maintaining full traceability throughout the value chain.
- The Improver Programme (IP): The MarinTrust Improver Programme is dedicated to marine ingredient production factories involved in a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP). Through a structured, timebound process, they can develop and gain recognition for their sourcing of marine ingredients, without being allowed to claim certification.