Artisanal Fishers of Ecuador

For thousands of artisanal fishers that live along the coast of Ecuador, heading out to sea before the sun rises is not a choice, it’s a way of life. For these fishers, the ocean isn’t just a workplace, it’s a source of life, of memories, of culture—an old friend that has always provided without asking for anything in return. But that same friend they’ve depended on for generations is now being attacked on all fronts: by pollution, the climate crisis, and especially excessive and illegal fishing that is altering the ocean beyond their control. While Ecuador’s leaders—beholden to a powerful commercial fishing industry that comprises the largest tuna fleet in the eastern Pacific—consider a proposal to increase marine protection and restrain industrial fishing activities, artisanal fishers struggle to find enough fish to support themselves and their families. But these artisanal fishers are not waiting any longer. They’re standing up for their most precious resource to ensure its survival... and their own.