Article: Small-Scale Fisheries versus Whale-Watching Tourism: The Story of Puerto López

The Ecuadorian coast with fishing boats, Puerto López


Author:  María José Barragán Paladines

Arcadia*, Spring 2017, no. 3

'Small-Scale Fisheries versus Whale-Watching Tourism: The Story of Puerto López' is a short overview of the systematic decline of the fishing industry in Puerto López, a fishing village on the Ecuadorian coast where fisheries can be traced back to as early as 6,000 BC. Over the past two decades, whale-watching tourism has arrived in the area and there has been a shift away from fishing in Puerto López. Issues of food sovereignty have become important, due to the lower availability of fish for local consumption as a result of the reduction in small-scale fishing.


Fishing in Puerto López, Ecuador


This article centers around the notion of fish as food in Puerto López, and around the shift away from fishing and towards activities connected with whale-watching tourism.

*Arcadia is a collaboration of the Rachel Carson Center and the European Society for Environmental History that  publishes short, peer-reviewed environmental histories.