APAHI is an organization comprised of fishers from the Hicaco community, located in the province of Varaguas, south of the Gulf of Montijo, Panama. It was founded in 2010, thanks to a program run by the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA).
This initiative, coupled with the support of the Authority of the Aquatic Resources of Panama (ARAP), has allowed the organization to build a receiving center and purchase 15 ships. In 2012, it forged a partnership with the MarViva Foundation, with the goal of training its staff in fishing topics and responsible consumption in order to improve its company profile. To this day, the association counts with the participation of 28 active members. Thanks to this partnership, and according to a fish monitoring program, APAHI has decreased the capture of sharks and rays from 80% to just 5%, and currently respects the minimum size at first maturity of the fish captures.
With the support of corporate clients such as the Ciudad de David Hotel and the Mykonos Hotel, the group is also in the process of transforming its fishing fleet, 92% of which currently uses methods such as 3 and 3.5 inch gill nets, to more selective techniques such as suripera nets and bottom longlines with circle hooks, leaving gillnets as a secondary method. This is expected to be achieved within two years, due to the required investments.