With all the recent news about Ecuador’s economic progress, grand infrastructure building programs and, of course, rollicking tourism industry along its gorgeous coastline, it has become easy to forget Ecuador’s much more humble beginnings. In fact, all along that tourism driven seashore just mentioned, even recent history recounts tales of fishermen fighting mighty mother ocean, to give up her bountiful spoils.
Most of the shoreline of Ecuador has been home to the great fisherman that have created the countless numbers of fishing hamlets which dot Ecuador’s formidable coast. They were the original pioneers and founders of what has become the heartland of tourism on the Ecuadorean mainland.
The specialty bounty off Ecuador’s generous Pacific Ocean is the shrimp trade. A reasonable source of protein but, more importantly, also a low calorie, low fat food option, the prolific shrimp trade flourished along the coast of Ecuador. Known for its rich and savory flavor, as well as its exquisite coloring and texture, Ecuador shrimp offers one of the premiere quality shrimp products, receiving “gourmet” status across the globe.
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Shrimp farming proliferated along the Ecuadorean seashore and has flourished into the modern era, even if shrimp operations in highly desirable tourist “hot spots” are being displaced to more suitable locales. Climatic advantages found on the Ecuador coast allow for three major shrimp harvest opportunities, per year, for the desirable “white shrimp” species. Because of this unique advantage, Ecuador is capable of producing 400 million pounds of shrimp annually, inclusive of value added product. The preceding makes shrimping the second largest export industry in Ecuador, second only to petroleum.
Another delicacy of the sea for which Ecuador fishing is renown is tilapia. An excellent source of vitamin D, E and B, the frequent consumption of tilapia is considered to have superb antioxidant properties. The fresh and succulent tilapia is generally exported as filets, either as frozen 20 lbs packages or as fresh lots. Due to its strategic geographic location, Ecuador is able to produce 50,000 tons of tilapia per annum.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for Ecuador’s fishing industry. While helping to export seafood delicacies around the world and creating a healthy export profit margin, Ecuador’s fishing industry can play an even more integral role in the lives of future expats, besides a great platter of Shrimp Newburg or perfectly sautéed tilapia. The burgeoning fishing industry is one option for a new expat seeking to establish a business base, or ply a trade in the employ of others, while establishing a new life here in Ecuador.
Running and/or renting a fishing fleet is one option for the intrepid expat. Hiring out a boat or small group of boats for the fishing aficionado trade is another viable business venture. Many tourists come on down with a hankering to cast a rod and try their hand at Ecuador’s likely oldest profession – being a denizen of the fisherman trade. Serving as the middle man for the thriving export seafood trade is another realistic option, especially for the fluently bilingual expat arrival. The options are endless, in Ecuador, to turn a man’s possible passion for the fishing life, into a productive career enterprise.
So, whether your preference is in munching on succulent freshly caught jumbo shrimp, lazing away a Sunday morning on a fishing boat, or serving as the captain of your own fishing industry, Ecuador has the right option for you. All you need is to make a commitment to come on down and visit with us for a while. Friends, family and colleagues will all understand, if you just hang out the Gone Fishin’ sign.
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