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Cablegate: Ecuador Agrees to Support U.S. Cites Shark Proposal And

VZCZCXRO6367
RR RUEHAST RUEHDH RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD RUEHSL RUEHTRO
DE RUEHQT #0061/01 0351716
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 041716Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY QUITO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0923
INFO ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 QUITO 000061

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV KSCA AORC UNEP EC
SUBJECT: Ecuador agrees to support U.S. CITES shark proposal and
additional conservation efforts

REF: STATE 6668

1. (Summary) Ecuador's head delegate to the March CITES
COP-15 in Doha, Qatar, told the Embassy January 29 that the GoE
will support both U.S. CITES proposals on sharks and sent a letter
confirming Ecuador's support. In discussions January 27 the
Vice-Minister of the Environment told emboffs that Ecuador had
officially received only the CITES shark proposals and thus could
not yet give a comment on Ecuador's probable stance on other U.S.
CITES proposals, although he was supportive in principle.
Discussions with representatives of Ecuador's fisheries authority
and commercial fishing sector on January 25-26 helped convince the
GoE to support the U.S. shark proposals. The Ecuadorean delegation
is headed by Mr. Manfred Altamirano. A tentative date in early
April, for a workshop on shark identification organized by OES/OMC,
the Embassy, and the GoE, and funded by NOAA and Ecuador's
Subsecretary for Fishing Resources, was agreed upon. (End
Summary).

Ecuador Supports U.S. Shark Proposals for Upcoming COP-15 in Qatar

2. ESTHoff and Visiting OES/OMC Science Fellow met January 26
with Ecuador's Vice-Minister of the Environment, Guido Mosquera
Martinez, and the head of Ecuador's delegation at the upcoming
CITES COP-15, Manfred Altimirano, Subsecretary of Marine Coastal
Management in the Ministry of the Environment, to discuss Ecuador's
position towards the U.S. proposals (reftel). VM Mosquera told us
that Ecuador was inclined to support the U.S. shark proposals and
was awaiting input from Ecuadorian fisheries authorities. He had
not yet received the official text of the other CITES proposals and
thus was unable to offer a substantive reply, although he did not
sound negative on any particular issue. On January 29, following
an interagency meeting, the GoE confirmed that it would support the
U.S. shark proposals and sent an official letter confirming its
support.

3. On January 25-26 visiting OES/OMC Science Fellow Todd
Capson met with officials from Ecuador's Subsecretary of Fishing
Resources (SRP): Guillermo Moran (Director) and biologist Jimmy
Martinez, as well as representatives from the commercial fisheries
sector, Luigi Benincasa (Director of the Association of Tuna
Fishermen of Ecuador) and Juan Benincasa (Manager of Mardex, S.A.)
to determine their position on and request their support for the
U.S. shark proposals. The discussion addressed the impact of the
proposals on Ecuador's shark fisheries, compliance issues
associated with an Appendix II listing of the species in question
(see Article IV, Regulation of Trade in Specimens Included in
Appendix II) and USG-sponsored efforts to promote capacity building
and regional cooperation for shark conservation and management in
the Eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO). The fact that the scalloped
hammerhead (Sphrnya lewini) is no longer caught in commercially
significant numbers in Ecuadorian coastal shark fisheries
strengthened arguments for its addition to CITES Appendix II.
(Within the EPO, sightings of S. lewini have decreased by 71% over
the period 1992-2004). Of the species proposed for listing, only
the smooth hammerhead (S. zygaena) is commercially significant in
Ecuador.

Ecuador Co-sponsoring Upcoming Shark Conservation Efforts

4. Capacity building efforts for shark conservation and
management in the EPO will include a National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and SRP-sponsored workshop on
shark species identification, tentatively scheduled for April 2010
in Manta, Ecuador, and involve scientists from EPO countries, NOAA,
and the SRP. The workshop will employ the recently published Field
Guide to the Identification of the Principal Sharks of the Eastern
Pacific Ocean (Regional Guide), an outcome of two previous
workshops on Regional Shark Conservation and Management in the EPO
(July and December of 2008, respectively), all of which were
supported with funds from the Fisheries Working Group of the Asia
Pacific Economic Cooperation. The Regional Guide, designed to
facilitate the collection of species-specific data on shark
fisheries in the EPO, was highly useful during discussions with
Ecuadorian officials on the U.S. CITES shark proposals.

QUITO 00000061 002 OF 002


5. The Ecuadorean delegation to the COP-15 in Qatar is headed
by Manfred Altimirano, Subsecretary of Marine Coastal Management in
the Ministry of the Environment, and will include Jimmy Martinez
(whose travel support to the COP-15 was arranged in collaboration
with Conservation International, Wild Aid, and the Pew Foundation),
and two technical representatives.
HODGES

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