Panama large pelagics - longline & green stick

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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.


FIP Description 

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.

FIP Objective(s) 

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.
FIP Type 
FIP Stage 
Stage 2: FIP Launch
Start and Projected End Dates
January 2020
December 2024
Next Progress Report Due 
Friday, June 19, 2020
Common Name 
Yellowfin Tuna
Scientific Name 
Thunnus albacares
Additional Names 
Atún aleta amarilla
Common Name 
Scientific Name 
Coryphaena hippurus
Additional Names 
Dolphin fish, Dorado
Gear Type 
FAO Major Fishing Area
Area 77 (Pacific, Eastern Central)
Exclusive Economic Zones
Geographic Scope 
Gulf of Chiriqui & Gulf of Panama
Country Flag of Vessel 
Regional Fisheries Management Organization
Estimated Total FIP Landings 
150 metric tons
Estimated Total Fishery Landings 
700 metric tons
Landings Date 
December 2018

FIP at a Glance

32% 25% 14% 29%
January 01, 2020
32% 25% 14% 29%
Progress Rating

A - Advanced Progress
Reserved for comprehensive FIPs that have a Stage 4 or 5 result within the past 12 months.

B - Good Progress
A FIP that has achieved a Stage 4 or 5 in more than 12 months AND Stage 3 activity in the last year; OR a basic FIP that has achieved Stage 4 or 5 achievements within the past 12 months.

C - Some Recent Progress
A FIP that has achieved a Stage 4 or 5 result in more than 12 (but less than 24) months but has not generated a Stage 3 result within the past 12 months OR a FIP younger than a year that has never achieved a Stage 4 or 5 result but has completed a Stage 3 activity.

D - Some Past Progress
A FIP for which the most recent publicly reported Stage 4 or 5 result is more than 24 (but less than 30) months.

E - Negligible Progress
A FIP older than a year that has not reported a Stage 4 or 5 result in more than 30 month (but less than 36) months; OR a FIP younger than 1 year that has not reported a Stage 3 activity.

The ratings are currently derived by SFP from publicly available data on FIP websites, including, and are determined using the following methodology: View PDF
Not yet available
Actions Complete
  • Complete
  • Incomplete
Next Update Due FisheryProgress requires a FIP to provide update reports every six months, and two missed reports will render the FIP inactive. If a report is overdue, this date will appear red.
Jun 2020
Target End Date
Dec 2024

FIP Leads

Organization Name 
Organization Type 
Primary Contact 
Gustavo Zuñiga
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