Panama Tells China: No Purse Seining in our Waters

The Panama government has announced that it will not authorize China or other countries to purse seine for tuna in its waters
Panama to China: No Purse Seining
Panama’s reputation as one of the world’s great destinations had been threatened by a proposed arrangement allowing Chinese purse-seine vessels to harvest tuna in the country’s waters. Adrian E. Gray

The Fishing Authorities of Panama have announced a clarification about the signing of a protocol between Panama and to the People’s Republic of China regarding fishing in Panama. In a statement, the Autoridad de los Recursos Acuaticos de Panama reiterated that purse-seine fishing will not be allowed in Panama and is currently prohibited by existing guidelines and laws. The protocol does not alter or modify the current legislation that regulates the activity of fishing in Panama.

The ARAP release states that, based on current regulations, it will not authorize purse-seine vessels, whether for internal or external service, under national or foreign flag, to operate or develop tuna extraction activities with purse-seine nets in the jurisdictional waters of the Republic of Panama. ARAP explained that the capture of this resource with fishing gear known as purse seines, is prohibited by the provisions of Executive Decree No. 239 of 2010. Article 1.

We appreciate the clarification from ARAP regarding the protection of tuna and other species from harmful fishing methods like purse seine fishing. We are relieved and happy with the clarification. Knowing that the fishery in Panama will remain protected from harmful practices like purse seine fishing is important to us as a leader in sport-fishing conservation and fishery management.


Pressure from within Panama and across the worldwide sportfishing community resulted in ARAP’s formal statement that purse seine fishing is currently against the law in Panama and will remain so. We want to thank everybody who joined us in voicing their concerns about the China/ Panama protocol.

ARAP’s statement explains that tuna fishing is limited to the restrictions established by the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) and the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), of which Panama is a Contracting Party and in general, by the international agreements signed and adopted and ratified by the Republic of Panama.

Located on the Pacific coast of the Darien jungle in Panama, Tropic Star Lodge as been providing fishing adventures for serious anglers for more than 55 years. Tropic Star Lodge is an Tropic Star Lodge strives to protect and conserve the treasured species found in the waters off Piñas Bay, Panama.


Ursula Marais is the general manager of Tropic Star Lodge at Piňas Bay, an industry leader in catch and release conservation and utilization of best fishing practices


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