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Faustino Riveiro
Press release

22 May 2024

The Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) deeply laments the loss at sea of biologist Faustino Riveiro, as a result of the sinking of the Venezuelan fishing vessel Canaima, on which he was aboard as an observer of the International Dolphin Conservation Program. The Ecuadorian vessel Ría de Aldán collided with the Canaima, causing it to sink very quickly reportedly with Mr. Riveiro still onboard. Through the Director of the Commission, the IATTC has been and will continue to remain in contact with his family, in order to provide them with all of the appropriate support, as necessary.

In addition to the instructions issued by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), both the Commission and the Parties to the Agreement on the International Dolphin Conservation Program (AIDCP) had taken compulsory measures on the safety of observers at sea by adopting two binding resolutions, one on an action plan and the other on the special equipment that each observer must keep with him at all times while on board with the aim of avoiding tragic loss of life such as occurred here. Pending the conclusion of the official investigations by the authorities of the flag States involved, the Secretariat of the Commission and the AIDCP cannot share the limited information that it has received informally regarding the sequence of events that led to Mr. Riveiro's disappearance.

It is an exceptional case and the entire Program and its many observers are dismayed by this tragic accident.