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Puerto Ebano (Manabi) against shrimp-farming, Ecuador


Ecuador became one of the main shrimp-farming producing countries in Latin America and in the world throughout the 1980s-90s. This industry development was marked by a rapid expansion of the shrimp ponds along the Ecuadorian coast. As a result, coastal ecosystems, mainly salt flats and mangroves, experienced severe degradation processes, which at the same time negatively impacted on the ways of life of the population linked to these ecosystems. The estuary of the Chone river in the Manabi province was one of the most strongly affected by this industry. Already in the late 80s only some few remainders of the mangrove ecosystem associated to the Corazon and Fragata Islands, remained. Before this situation, inhabitants of Puerto Ebano, one of the ancestral gathering communities of this estuary started to organize and mobilize in an effort to avoid the definitive elimination of this ecosystem in the area.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Puerto Ebano (Manabi) against shrimp-farming, Ecuador
State or province:Manabi
Location of conflict:County Sucre
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Aquaculture and fisheries
Specific commodities:Shrimps
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The Corazon Island has 500 hectares and The Fragata Island has 300 hectares

Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:1985
Relevant government actors:Instituto Ecuatoriano Forestal y de Areas Naturals-INEFAN (Ecuadorian Institute of Forestry and Natural Areas). Later, it became the Ministry of Environment, Programa de Manejo de Recursos Costeros - PMRC (Costal Resource Management Program)., Ministry of Defense: La Direccin de la Marina Mercante y el Litoral -DIGMER (The Direction of the Coast Merchant Marine) and the Port Authorities., Instituto Ecuatoriano de Reforma Agraria y Colonizacin-IERAC (ex-Ecuadorian Institue for Agrarian Reform and Colonization).
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Fundacion Pedro Vicente Maldonado, Universidad Portoviejo, Fundacin Natura, Investigaciones Sociales y del Desarrollo-OFIS, Coordinadora Nacional Para la Defensa del Ecosistema Manglar-C-CONDEM (Coordinating Comitee for the Defense of Mangrove Ecosystem)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Reforestation, replantig of mangroves
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsVisible: Malnutrition
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Land demarcation
Project cancelled
Development of alternatives:Facing the disruption of the mangroves natural resources from which they relied on for making a living, they reconverted themselves into tourism guides. Hence, They made the community tourism their new source of income.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:Finally, in 2002 this area was declared protected under the legal figure of The Corazon and Fragatas Islands Wildlife Refuge.
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Decree N 178(O.R 497). The Fisheries and Fisheries Development Law.

Maritime Police Code

Decree N4989 (O.R.591) of December 24, 1986. Decree 238 (O.R. 722) of July 6, 1987. They declare 362.802 hectares of wetlands as Protected Forests.

Decree NA-133 (O.R 733). The Corazon and Fragatas Islands Wildlife Refuge.

The Law of Forestry and Conservation of Natural Areas and Wildlife.

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Corazn e Islas Fragatas. Quito, Ecuador. In: de Manejo Isla Corazon.pdf.
[click to view]

Interpretacin Ambiental. Plan de Manejo Refugio de Vida Silvestre Isla

Ministerio del Ambiente del Ecuador. 2007. Subprograma de Uso Pblico e

Varea, Anamara, Carmen Barrera, Ana mara Maldonado, Lourdes Endara, Byron real, Victoria Reyes, Guillermo Robalino. 1997. Desarrollo Eco-ilgico. Conflictos socioambientales desde la selva hasta el mar. CEDEP/Abya-Yala

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Contributor:Sara Latorre
Last update08/04/2014
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