Gorton’s Inc. from Gloucester, Massachusetts, officially joined as a cooperating party in the Ecuadorian Gulf of Guayaquil Titi Shrimp Fishery Improvement Project (Titi-FIP).  The agreement was signed with Ecuador’s National Chamber of Fisheries (CNP), the organization leading the project.

Gorton’s, which is celebrating its 175th anniversary next year, is the leading U.S. frozen prepared seafood brand and an important supplier of value-added products to supermarkets, club stores, and quick-serve restaurants throughout North America.  Gorton’s is committed to responsible sourcing of its seafood raw materials with a focus on minimizing the environmental impact of its business operations.

Dillon Cecchi, Gorton’s Buyer & Ocean/Fishery Health CSR Pillar Lead says, “We are excited to officially join and support this FIP and its improvement efforts happening in such an important fishery.  We applaud the work done already in establishing this coalition and look forward to contributing towards positive change with the shared goal of ensuring the health of this resource for years to come.”

The Gulf of Guayaquil Titi Shrimp Fishery Improvement Project was created in 2020 through the combined efforts of NATLUK S.A. (Ecuador), Rich Products (USA), and Delta Blue (USA).  In 2023, the leadership and administration responsibilities were passed along to the CNP.  The project also includes a coalition of seven Ecuadorian processing and exporting companies working jointly with local fishermen and public/private stakeholders to establish a viable path towards MSC certification.

Immediate focus areas for the FIP include the strengthening of data collection, governance, and prevention measures aimed at combatting illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU).

Veronica Dahik, FIP Executive Committee Lead and Manager of NATLUK S.A. says, “It is exciting to see how we are moving forward.  Important companies in the sector, international market clients, and the fishing fleet are united by a common objective. I am sure that we will achieve it.  It is not easy, but it is the right path to take. The sustainability of the resource is our responsibility.  As actors in the sector, we must protect the resource for future generations and the world”.

The CNP is an organization made up of various companies in the fishing sector, shipowners and processors of tuna, small pelagics, canned fish, fishmeal and frozen seafood, among others. Rafael Trujillo, its Executive Director, points out that “The CNP together with its partners and strategic allies works to ensure sustainability of the fishing sector, which includes the biological, economic and social dimension of a fishery. This kind of projects works with public-private synergies, which has proven to be a powerful instrument to unite efforts to face sustainability challenges.”

This article originally appeared on the Titi Shrimp Sustainability website.