The Panama Republic is a relatively small country in surface (75,000 Km2), but has a substantial biological potential as seafood producing country thanks to its geographic location. Panama coasts add up to 2,988 kilometers, 1,700 in the Pacific and 1,288 in the Caribbean. The continental shelf has an extension of 250,900 Km2 and the Exclusive Economic Zone reaches 319,188 Km2.
The fishing activity in Panama occurs mostly in the Pacific Ocean with 95% of the total. The Gulf of Panama upwelling during the dry season is the basis for the relevant fishing activities in the Panamanian waters. The industrial fishing operates in the Pacific Ocean and focus on shrimp, small pelagics for reduction, tuna, dolphin fish and finfish species, being the export markets the main objective. Except for tuna and dolphin fish, the rest of the target species are in critical status.
At the end of last century, the tuna and dolphin fish longline fishery had a strong and important evolution in terms of income and generation of jobs. The export of fresh tuna and dolphin fish initially, and later the frozen presentations were the factors boosting the Panama exports. The growing demand and the seasonal abundance of these transnational resources, generated the fishing effort increment with the inclusion of all kind of vessels, including shrimp trawlers transformed and adapted to the target species and market. For 2016 Panama had registered 112 industrial vessels registered for tuna and 220 for Dolphin fish.
According to the IATTC, the tuna and dolphin fish stocks in the Eastern Pacific Ocean are not overexploited but close to their maximum yield. However, the generalized lack of biological information of the target species and the fishery environmental impacts difficult the design and implementation of harvest strategies and harvest control rules which would allow to maintain the target species populations at healthy levels, mitigate the environmental impacts and satisfy the increasing social and environmental responsibility demands at the markets for the Panamanian production.
The Panama Republic is a relatively small country in surface (75,000 Km2), but has a substantial biological potential as seafood producing country thanks to its geographic location.
The goal of the Panama Large Pelagics Longline & Green stick FIP is to strengthen the harvest strategy, related harvest control rules and the manageent system to reach, for the fall of 2024, a minimum score of 60-79 for all the principle 2 and 3 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, at the RFMO level, the developmwent and publication of a robust and comprehensive stock assessment for dolphin fish.
- To Promote, at the RFMO level, the development and implementation of a harvest strategy and control rules for dolphin fish in the area of jurisdiction of the the IATTC.
- To promote updates to the national fishery regulatory to meet the sustainability standards internationally accepted.