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Ecuador Removes Tariff on Circle Hooks to Help Protect Turtles

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ECUADOR - The Ecuadorian government has removed the tariff of 30 per cent on imports of circle hooks. The decision was made after reviewing a report prepared by WWF, which supported technically that circle hooks are more environmentally responsible because they reduce the bycatch of sea turtles by 70 per cent.

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The report also notes that reducing the impact on marine ecosystems is a key element of sustainable fisheries, and an increasingly important requirement for access to major export markets of high quality seafood.

The high cost of circle hooks compared to "J" hooks, which are currently used most often by artisanal fishermen but also cause a higher rate of mortality of sea turtles, is one of the main obstacles to the widespread adoption of circle hooks by longline Ecuadorian artisanal fleet, comprising more than 4,000 boats.

Tariff Elimination promote placement of circle hooks in the Ecuadorian market at a competitive price.

This strategy is a key component of Fishery Improvement Project of the dorado fishery, conducted by WWF and other partners, which includes activities such as scientific research of the fishery and extensive training Ecuadorian fishermen fishing on best practices. The FIP aims to eventually MSC certification of this fishery.

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