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The bivalve mollusk, Anadara tuberculosa (Black Shell, in Spanish Concha Prieta), is found on America’s Pacific coast, where it is harvested for subsistence and commercial markets. This paper aims to diagnose the performance of the black shell’s value chain. We also identify several challenges that must be addressed to improve the sustainability of the black shell fishery in Ecuador. The applied methodology was quantitative and descriptive. Its design was non-experimental, field, cross-sectional and ex post facto. The investigation was carried out from January to October 2019 in the Jambelí archipelago, El Oro province, Ecuador. The study population consisted of 565 individuals, shellfish collectors, shellfish associations managers, traders, and restaurants from the A. tuberculosa production chain. The sample size was estimated at 222 informants. The type of sampling used was probabilistic, random, stratified, and with proportional allocation, with an effective participation rate of those selected of approximately 80%. The questionnaire was applied personally through the structured survey method, in writing, in the work area, and with their consent. The performance of the value chain was diagnosed in the dimensions of productivity, competitiveness, and quality of life, reaching a 75.1% index, a result that indicates that the value chain has a moderate to good performance level. The competitiveness dimension reached the highest performance, followed by productivity. Quality of life was the dimension with the lowest performance. The value chain can be improved if the following challenges are met: (1) Restoration of the mangrove ecosystem, (2) Promotion of low-intensity shellfish aquaculture, (3) Good sanitary management and purification, (4) Promotion of value-focused ventures, (5) Strengthening of organizations and agreements for the use and custody of mangroves, and (6) Strengthening of institutions that contribute to the advancement of these challenges
Prado-Carpio, Eveligh, Olivo-Garrido, María de Lourdes, Quiñonez-Cabeza, Manuel, Beitl, C.M., Martínez-Soto, Moisés, Rodríguez-Monroy, Carlos. Performance and challenges in the value chain of the Anadara tuberculosa bivalve mollusk in Ecuador. Sustainability 13(19), 10863; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910863
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