Help us fund our projects. We need you to keep our people in the field:

Join us...An attitude change can save lives!
Youtube Channel
Facebook profile

All around the world there are species of sharks that are bordering on extinction. In Ecuador the situation of these predators is no different. The demand for their fins has changed the sharks into a species that is highly sought after, and because of this, sharks of all species, sizes and sexes arrive daily at the principle fishing ports of Ecuador.

The problem of the fisheries will continue to increase because of the characteristics and nature of the sharks and rays. These cartilaginous fish reproduce slowly, with a reduced number of young and over long periods of gestation: In other words these fish simply cannot reproduce fast enough to cover their extraction by industrial and artisanal fishing.


No information exists about the birth processes of the sharks along the coasts of Ecuador.  The times or mating areas, critical habitats and migration routes are all unknown. This makes it impossible to evaluate the state of these populations of sharks in our waters.



Inside our PROYECTO TIBURONES, Equilibrio Azul has joined with other government and non-government organizations and together we have made improvements in managing the sharks and rays.

Every morning, our personnel and volunteers diligently monitor the fishing of sharks and rays in Puerto Lopez, Manta and Santa Rosa. The information that they obtain from the ports is vital for managing the fisheries and the conservation of venerable species. Together with The National Institute of Fishing (El Instituto Nacional de Pesca), The Under-secretary of Fishing Resources and The Fishing Sector, we hope to form a collaboration in search of alternatives and new measures in managing these species.

Our work consists of identifying species, counting, measuring, and weighing each shark that enters port. This includes long hours at the fish markets and data processing. We also take samples of DNA that are sent to be analyzed and this is used to determine the genetic diversity of the sharks that have been fished in our waters.

Our primary results indicate that it is necessary to take urgent measures, there already exists various populations that have been seriously feeling the effects:
The majority of hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna zygaena) caught are juveniles that have not been able to reproduce before being caught. Other aspects of their behaviour makes sharks vulnerable; due to their limited distribution through a reduction in their habitat, Sting rays (Dayatis Longa) for example are within a few years of collapse-- something we have already seen in California during the 70’s and 80’s. And now, together with the increased demand for shark fins, our work is becoming more and more urgent.

Only on the Galapagos is there legislation against the fishing of sharks and recognition of how seriously threatened these beautiful creatures are. As a result of implementing protected areas Ecuador has significantly improved understanding the interaction of sharks in the area.


Our staff counts, measures, weighs, id's the species and takes DNA samples of the sharks and rays that end up in the fishing ports.




Equilibrio Azul collaborates daily with local fishermen and accompany them in the fish-markets in order to better understand the processes that they utilize. This can be used to assess whether sharks and rays are caught as by-catch or with intention and the zones in which this occurs.

This will allow authorities from both scientific and fishing industries to better manage their resources and establish measures that can guarantee the conservation of these species.

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