Iscuandé fishermen commit themselves to a more sustainable trade. | WWF

Iscuandé fishermen commit themselves to a more sustainable trade.

Posted on
10 abril 2018
 The Las Varas fishing community, in the rural part of the Nariño municipality of Iscuandé, joined in the WWF exchanging of hooks campaign on Colombia’s Pacific coast. The aim is to train fishermen and show them that more responsible practices in their trade are possible.
 
When a fisherman goes out to work, he looks for a specific catch (‘target species’), which normally has a high economic value. However, he very often catches other species which are worth less but are fundamental to ecosystems, such as sea turtles.
 
This is the main reason why organizations like WWF-Colombia hold hook exchange sessions where, in addition to sustainable fishing being promoted, better catching practices and techniques are guaranteed. These activities are also extremely beneficial for small-scale fishing communities, because they enable them to open up markets through economic incentives for these good practices.



© WWF-US / Molly Edmonds

 
This is what happened with the Las Varas fishing community, which is part of the collective Esfuerzo Pescador Community Council in the rural part of the Santa Bárbara de Iscuandé municipality, in Nariño province. On March 3rd, 40 small-scale fishermen who employ the fishing technique known locally as espinel de fondo, or ‘boulter-bottom’, which is used for catching fish at depth such as grouper or hake, exchanged 11,600 hooks which allowed them, to quote fisherman and community leader Kennedy Caicedo, to be ‘friendlier with fishing resources’.
 
This session also strengthened two local fishing associations whose principal aim is to foster sustainable fishing that guarantees long-term ecological and human wellbeing. WWF-Colombia has now handed over 220,250 curved hooks to 476 small-scale fishermen in four provinces on Colombia’s Pacific coast as part of the Incidental Fauna Reduction (also known as Bycatch) project, which it has carried out in the country for the last 13 years.
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