Panama large pelagics - longline (Marpesca)

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Overview

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.

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 fishery being assessed is the Marpesca Panama longline fishery. The fishery operates in the Eastern Pacific Ocean high seas and Panama EEZ and targets yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) and mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus). The fishery is regionally managed by the Inter American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC).

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) 

Sustainable Fish Stocks: To ensure the catches of yellowfin tuna and mahi-mahi across the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Panamanian EEZ do not exceed sustainable levels by 2027.

Minimizing Environmental Impacts: To support the implementation of the ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management by 2027.

Effective Management: To strengthen governance systems in IATTC, and the fishery by 2027.

Be in place to enter MSC full assessment in 2027.

FIP Type 
Comprehensive
FIP Stage 
Stage 2: FIP Launch
Start and Projected End Dates
January 2020
January 2027
Update 
Update May 2022: Projected end date was extended because the project reactivated as a Comprehensive FIP.
Last Progress Report Reviewed 
Tuesday, November 15, 2022
Next Progress Report Due 
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Species 
Common Name 
Yellowfin Tuna
Scientific Name
Thunnus albacares
Common Name 
Mahi-mahi
Scientific Name
Coryphaena hippurus
Gear Type 
Longline
Location
FAO Major Fishing Area
Area 77 (Pacific, Eastern Central)
Exclusive Economic Zones
Country 
Panama
Geographic Scope 
Gulf of Chiriqui & Gulf of Panama
Country Flag of Vessel 
Panama
Regional Fisheries Management Organization
IATTC
High Seas Name 
Pacific Ocean
Landings
Estimated Total FIP Landings 
150 metric tons
Estimated Total Fishery Landings 
700 metric tons
Landings Date 
December 2018
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FIP at a Glance

25% 18% 57%
January 01, 2020
32% 25% 14% 29%
Progress Rating (A) Advanced Progress

Reserved for comprehensive FIPs that have achieved a Stage 4 or 5 result within the past 12 months.

(B) Good Progress

A basic FIP that has achieved a Stage 4 or 5 result within 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 AND has reported a Stage 3 activity within the past six months.
  • A FIP younger than 12 months that has never achieved a Stage 4 or 5 result but has reported a Stage 3 activity within the first 12 months.
(D) Some Past Progress
  • A FIP that has achieved a Stage 4 or 5 result in more than 12 (but less than 24) months BUT has not reported a Stage 3 activity within the past six months.
  • A FIP for which the most recent Stage 4 or 5 result is more than 24 (but less than 36) months old AND a Stage 3 activity has been reported within six months.
  • A FIP 12-36 months old that has never reported a Stage 4 or 5 result AND has reported a Stage 3 activity within the past six months.
(E) Negligible Progress
  • A FIP for which the most recent Stage 4 or 5 result is more than 24 (but less than 36) months old, with no Stage 3 activity reported in the last six months.
  • A FIP younger than 12 months with no Stage 3 activity reported within 12 months.
  • A FIP 12-36 months old that has never reported a Stage 4 or 5 result AND has not reported a Stage 3 activity within the past six months.

The ratings are currently derived by SFP from publicly available data on FIP websites, including FisheryProgress.org, and are determined using the following methodology: View PDF

Not yet available
Actions Complete

This pie chart represents completed environmental actions. Non-completed environmental actions may contain completed sub-tasks that are not illustrated here. For more information on environmental action progress visit the Actions Progress tab.

  • 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.
May 2023
Target End Date
Jan 2027

FIP Leads

Organization Name 
Key Traceability
Organization Type 
Consultant
Primary Contact 
Tom Evans
FIP Identification Number The FIP Identification Number is automatically generated by FisheryProgress when a FIP profile is created. While the number itself is not meaningful, they are used by NGOs, academia, and industry to refer to FIPs in a consistent way.
11639