Titi shrimp (Protrachypene precipua) is a tropical species that inhabits the Eastern Pacific Ocean from Nicaragua to Ecuador. Titi shrimp distribution in Ecuador, particularly in the Gulf of Guayaquil, varies depending on the season with a considerable migration in different stages of its lifecycle through the estuaries and surrounding waters.
The industrial titi shrimp fishery in Ecuador started in the 1960s in the Gulf of Guayaquil using bottom-trawl nets. Since then, the titi shrimp fishery has supported the livelihoods of thousands of Ecuadorians that participate in different parts of the supply chain, including fishing, processing and export. The industrial fleet reached the maximum number of vessels in 1980 with 74. Since then, the fleet has diminished to reach the current effort with 39 authorized vessels.
According to the National Fisheries Institute, the landings of titi shrimp averaged 6.5 thousand metric tons per year in the 2007-2019 period with a minimum of 5.9 thousand in 2007 and a maximum of 7 thousand tons registered in 2010. It is estimated that the industrial titi shrimp fishery generates an annual income of 4.5-5 million dollars and operative revenues of 1 million for the fleet thanks to the export to USA and EU markets of 75% of the landings.
Since 2000, The industrial fishery has some management measures including a closed season, a geographic division for the authorized fleets, a daily allowed capture and the mandatory use of Turtle Excluder Devices (TED). The industrial fishery is also monitored through a Vessel Monitoring System and a network of fisheries inspectors deployed in the main landing ports. Additionally, the National Fisheries Institute keeps fishery-related historic data and, since 2013, the fleet participates in an onboard observers’ program.
Despite its economic importance, there is not enough information available related to the species biology or the fishery in general (e.g. not all the fishing mortality is well known). In addition, the current management scheme lacks of several elements that could benefit the target species and the environment. Finally, a combination of weak international markets and the increasing producing costs, difficult the design and implementation of a harvest strategy and the correspondent control rules aimed at recovering the stocks to sustainable levels, mitigating the fishery environmental impacts and satisfying the increasing demands for social and environmental responsibility in the markets.
Titi shrimp (Protrachypene precipua) is a tropical species that inhabits the Eastern Pacific Ocean from Nicaragua to Ecuador.
The goal of the Ecuador titi shrimp – bottom trawl FIP is to strengthen the harvest strategy, related harvest control rules and the management system to reach, for the fall of 2024, a minimum score of 60-79 for all the principles performance indicators for the MSC Standard.
Project outcomes for 2024 are:
- To establish a fishery monitoring and data collection program to document and evaluate the fishery impacts to biodiversity.
- To develop a management strategy to mitigate the fishery impacts on secondary and PET species.
- To promote, the development and publication of a robust and comprehensive stock assessment for the three target species.
- To Promote, the development and implementation of a harvest strategy and control rules for the fishery.
- To promote updates to the national fishery regulatory to meet the sustainability standards internationally accepted.
FIP at a Glance