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Ecuador enjoys great avian diversity, and the coast of Ecuador is an important zone for nesting, feeding, and migration.  Blue footed boobies, pelicans, gulls, and albatross, and other marine birds frequent the coasts throughout the year and are important for maintaining the balance of the eco-systems along the entire coast. However, there is a severe lack of the information required to evaluate the status of these species.

These birds are found in specific areas of the ocean where food is plentiful and are therefore a good indictor as to health of the waters in our area. Even though these birds are not directly consumed or hunted, they are directly affected by the fisheries by becoming entangled in nets or lines. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate the impact of this activity if we are going to protect these animals in the future.


The albatross that nest on the Isla de la Plata are visitors to the island; they could spend most of their time in the Galapagos Islands or elsewhere. Therefore, the Isla de la Plata is an important site for conservation, since it represents a key stepping stone in the albatross migration cycle.

With help from the American Bird Conservation (ABC), and in coordination with the Environmental Ministry of Ecuador, we have conducted research regarding the incidental catching of albatross by artisan fisheries of southern Ecuador.  The principal objective is to obtain data that permits the authorities to analyze the situation and find alternatives within the fishing sector.

Thanks to the co-operation of the artisan fishing sector, in April of 2008, 154 surveys were collected from fisheries in Manabi and Santa Elena provinces. The preliminary results indicate that close to 30% of those surveyed have observed albatross. This percentage demonstrates that a significant interaction exists between fishing and albatross in Ecuador’s coasts. Taking into account that the captured animals may belong to the populations of the Isla de la Plata and Galapagos, it is very necessary to analyze and to apply remedies for reducing incidental catch.



Isla de la Plata and Isla Santa Clara (Located in Southern Ecuador) are places of high density and importance for the nesting of pelicans, frigate birds, blue-footed boobies and masked boobies. As part of our PROYECTO ISLAS we are studying the inter-dependence that exists between these islands and other areas of the country.  There is information that shows that Galapagos boobies have come to nest on the Isla de la Plata, which indicates the necessity of managing national and regional paths of marine migratory birds.  With the objective to study these populations are marking individuals in these islands, and at the same time monitoring the nesting success.


Fundación Equilibrio Azul© 2006-2008 • E-mail: info@equilibrioazul.org • P.O.BOX. 17116025 • Quito - Ecuador
Diseñado por NM.COM / Fotografía: Felipe Vallejo E.