Responsible fishing consists of extracting fishing resources in a way that generates the least possible impact on the sea and the species. Responsible fishing involves:

  • Use fishing techniques that reduce the catch of unwanted species and fish that are not adults (have not reached their minimum size at maturity)

  • Capture species that are not in danger of extinction

  • Respect the minimum sizes of maturity of the species

  • Respect closed seasons and protected areas or areas with fishing restrictions

  • Carry out proper handling of the fishery product

  • Adopt a seafood traceability program

The right to fish carries with it the obligation to do so responsibly in order to ensure the conservation and effective management of living aquatic resources.

It is the practice of consuming fish products in such a way that it has the least possible negative impact on the sea and society, encouraging options that promote responsible fishing and marketing.

The fishery is the set of activities related to fishing or capture of fishery resources. There are various activities related to the fishery, from the equipment and vessels used in the capture, its storage, handling to docks and containers, land storage, product processing, packaging, and finally consumption.

FAO is the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Its main objective is to improve nutrition, increase agricultural productivity, raise the standard of living of the rural population and contribute to the growth of the world economy.

Among the eight departments that make up the FAO, there is a department dedicated to fisheries and aquaculture and which formulated a non-binding International Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, which establishes principles and standards applicable to the conservation, management and development of all fisheries . In addition to this code, FAO provides information and documents and is a participant in decision-making related to fisheries.

In Colombia:

Currently, the AUNAP (National Authority for Aquaculture and Fisheries) is the authority in charge of the planning, research, ordering, promotion, regulation, registration, information, inspection, surveillance and control processes of fishing and aquaculture activities, applying the sanctions that may apply, within a policy of promotion and sustainable development of fishing resources.

In Panama:

The Aquatic Resources Authority of Panama (ARAP), created by Law 44 of November 23, 2006, is the entity responsible for ensuring compliance and enforcement of laws and regulations on aquatic resources and national policies. of fishing and aquaculture, in coordination with the Ministry of the Environment, the current entity responsible for ensuring the protection of hydrobiological resources and their ordering in accordance with Law No. 8 of March 25, 2015.

In Costa Rica:

In Costa Rica, the authority on the matter is the Costa Rican Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Incopesca), which administers, regulates, and promotes the development of the fishing, mariculture, and aquaculture sectors in the country’s continental waters. The Institute is created by Law 7384 published on March 29, 1994

Overfishing is extracting fishing resources (fish and shellfish) in excessive quantities faster than they are capable of reproducing, causing species to be unable to re-establish their populations. As of 2012, 57% of the world’s marine fish populations are at the maximum extraction point that a fishery can support and 30% are overexploited.

If there is to be enough fish for current and future generations, everyone involved in the fisheries sector needs to contribute to the conservation and management of the world’s fisheries.

Aquaculture consists of farming (aquatic plants) or farming (fish, crustaceans, molluscs, etc.) in natural or artificial aquatic environments in order to obtain a more abundant production for local consumption or for commercial purposes. It is possibly the fastest growing food production sector, today it represents almost 50% of the world’s fishery products destined for food.

Fishing gear is the set of materials and implements used by both artisan and industrial fishermen to capture and extract marine resources. The fishing gear is mostly made with nylon ropes, nets, and hooks, among others, and they are used depending on the place and species to be captured.

There are passive and active fishing gear  depending on the capture technique. Passive gears are based on the movement of the target species towards the gear, while active gears generally involve directed pursuit of the target species.

The degree of selectivity of a fishing gear is measured based on its ability to capture the target sizes and species, reducing the impact on unwanted species, juveniles and marine habitats.

The size at first maturity is the size at which the fish has reached sexual maturity and has reproduced at least once. Each species has its own size at maturity, and knowing and respecting them is a basic criterion for the conservation of the species.

The closed season is a time when fishing for a certain species or within a defined area is prohibited. Its objective is to protect species during important times of reproduction or migration.

Bans in Colombia

ShrimpResolution 3063 of 2011, INCODER, establishes a closure for Shallow Water Shrimp (CAS) and Deep Water Shrimp (CAP), in the Colombian Pacific Ocean, as a management, control and surveillance measure from January 1 to February 28 every year.
Sharks, rays and chimaeras.

Resolution 744 of 2012, AUNAP, prohibits the targeted capture of sharks, rays and chimaeras in the national marine coastal territory.

Resolution 000190 of 2013, AUNAP, DO 48.716 of 2013, establishes that for the Colombian Pacific, the incidental catch of sharks in industrial fishing must not exceed 66% of the total catch in a fishing trip between May 1 and October 31 of each year.

Carduma ( Centengraulis mysticetus )Resolution 0138/1992, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, establishes a ban on this species from October 1 to December 31 of every year, in order to protect the species.
Tuna and tuna-like species

Resolution 00787 of 2013; AUNAP establishes a 62-day ban in 2013 for all tuna vessels with a carrying capacity greater than 182 metric tons that fish for yellowfin, skipjack, bigeye tuna and similar species in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Resolution 0089 of 2013, AUNAP, prohibits industrial tuna fishing within the ZEMP (Special Fisheries Management Zone) with purse seine vessels with a capacity equal to or greater than one hundred and eight net registered tons and industrial tuna fishing with longlines or long lines. -line within the ZEMP to vessels with a length greater than or equal to 24 meters.

Bans in Panama

ShrimpIn Panama, the shrimp ban has two periods: February 1 to April 11 and September 1 to October 11.
tunasTuna fishing with purse seine nets is prohibited in the jurisdictional waters of the Republic of Panama. Panamanian-flagged fishing vessels of four hundred and forty (440) tons or more that operate in Panamanian territorial waters and in the Eastern Tropical Pacific [Executive Decree 111 of October 15, 1990, partially modified by Decree 7 of February 10, 1992 and the Executive Decree 70 of October 20, 1992. In Bahía Piña, within a 20-mile radius, taking Punta Piña in Darién as the epicenter, tuna fishing will only be allowed for sport fishing.
snappers– Snapper fishing is reserved only for coastal navigation vessels between Panamanian ports, prohibiting the use of gillnets or trammel nets [Executive Decree 49 of July 20, 1992.
sharksShark finning is prohibited. In any fishing activity that catches shark species, directed or incidental, all specimens must be kept on board the vessels so that they can be verified in port for the integral use of the resource [law 9 of March 16, 2006. In Bahía Piña, Within a 20-mile radius, taking Punta Piña in Darién as its epicenter, shark fishing will only be allowed for sport fishing [Executive Decree 1-B of January 28, 1994.
caribbean lobsterIt has a closed season that runs from March 1 to June 30. In areas of the Ngäbe Bugle Comarca it runs from May 1 to August 30.
Pacific lobsterIt has a closed season that only applies to the Pearl Archipelago and runs from December 1 to April 15.

Bans in Costa Rica

Caribbean spiny lobster ( anulirus argus)Species prohibited every year from March 1 to June 30 (OSPESCA Regulation #OSP-02-09 for the Regional Management of the Caribbean Lobster Fishery).
Chucheca ( Grandiarca grandis ) and cambute ( Strombus galeatus  and  Melongena patula )The capture, directed extraction and commercialization of all species of Cambute is permanently prohibited. The capture of chucheca is also prohibited in the entire coastal zone of the Costa Rican Pacific and adjacent islands in order to allow the population recovery of this species.
Gulf of NicoyaArea that is temporarily closed every year as established by INCOPESCA.

A Marine Protected Area (AMP) is any marine geographic area that, for the purpose of conserving biodiversity or carrying out fisheries management, is subject to a level of protection.

A threatened species is any species that is likely to become extinct in the near future. There are different sources that provide scientific argumentation to define the degree of threat. MarViva Foundation takes as a reference updated scientific publications on the subject and research entities such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and fishing databases such as Fishbase ( ) .