Understanding Ecuador’s Organic Law

A Guide to Ecuador’s Organic Law for the Development of Aquaculture & Fishing

We want to bring attention to some very important definitions from Ecuadorian law:

Capture Certificate

The capture certificate or its equivalent is the document issued by the State’s governing body of the vessel’s flag, through which the traceability and legality of the catch is accredited in accordance with laws, regulations and international regulatory measures. and fisheries management. (Article 7.20)

Fishing Vessel Tracking Device

Integrated electronic equipment and implement, which transmits data in real time and which allows tracking the position, displacement and heading of a fishing vessel. (Article 7.30)

Territorial Sea 

Territorial sea is the maritime space, twelve nautical miles, measured from the baselines, in which the coastal State exercises sovereignty in accordance with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. (Article 7.39)

Illegal Fishing

Illegal fishing is carried out when:

a) National or foreign vessels in waters under the jurisdiction of a State, without its permission, or in contravention of its laws & regulations;

b) Vessels that fly the flag of states that are part of a competent regional fisheries management organization, but operate in contravention of the conservation and management measures adopted by said organization and by virtue of which the states or the pertinent provisions of law are bound applicable international; or,

c) For violation of national laws or international obligations, including those contracted by cooperating states with respect to a competent regional fisheries management organization (Article 7.45)

Industrial Fishing

Extractive activity carried out by vessels with hydraulic, mechanized and advanced technical fishing systems that allow the capture of hydrobiological resources. (Article 7.46)

Unreported Fishing

Unreported fishing means fishing activities:

a) That they have not been declared, or have been declared inaccurately to the competent national authority, in contravention of laws or regulations; or,

b) Carried out in the area of competence of a competent regional fisheries management organization, which have not been declared or have been declared inaccurately, in violation of the declaration procedures of said organization. (Article 7.47)

Unregulated Fishing

Unregulated fishing means the fishing activities carried out:

In the area of application of a competent regional fisheries management organization for vessels without nationality, or for vessels flying the flag of a State that is not part of that organization, or by a fishing entity, so that it is not in line with conservation and management measures of said organization, or that contravenes them; or

In areas or in relation to fish stocks for which there are no applicable conservation or management measures and in which such fishing activities are carried out in a manner that is inconsistent with responsibilities for the conservation of marine resources alive that are incumbent on the State under international law. (Article 7.48)

What Now?

Know what laws are in place and learn the definitions that are used by the government, scientists and the media. Look at verified data and the laws themselves – be informed.

Demand transparency and refer to specific offenses that the fleet has committed. Offer solutions (such as checking certificates of catch) that are based upon existing definitions and laws that just need to be enforced.


Read in full at bit.ly/organiclaw

Informing and sharing news on marine life, flora, fauna and conservation in the Galápagos Islands since 2017
© SOS Galápagos, 2021


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