Why is Colombia not well known for tuna fishing, or at least not as much as Ecuador or Peru?
Jhon, from Colombia, asked us: Why is Colombia not well known for tuna fishing, or at least not as much as Ecuador or Peru? Are tuna less present off the Pacific coast of Colombia than in Ecuador or Peru?
Fernando de la Gándara, from the Spanish Institute of Oceanography center in Murcia (Spain), answered: The abundance of tuna off the coast of Colombia is similar to that of the Ecuadorian coast. It’s surprising that the Pacific port with most tuna landings is Manta, in Ecuador (known as the Tuna Capital of the World), especially yellowfin (Thunnus albacares) and skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis), with some Pacific bluefin (Thunnus orientalis) as well. Manta is relatively close to Colombia. One of the main reasons why Colombia isn’t especially well-known for tuna fishing is that the Colombian fishing industry (which focuses primarily on its rich sources of freshwater species) is fairly underdeveloped in comparison with Central America and its neighboring countries in South America; Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina are major fishing powers. The market in Colombia is primarily for freshwater rather than saltwater fish, with tilapia as the star species. Surprisingly, the main fish-producing areas in Colombia are landlocked. Some analysts forecast considerable growth in tuna catches for the years ahead, both on the Pacific coast and on the Caribbean, where yellowfin fishing prevails.