Volume 71

Best Practices for Caribbean Fishers Coping with Sargassum Influx Events

Richeda F. Speede;Shelly-Ann L. Cox;Hazel A. Oxenford
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Date: November, 2018

Pages: 315-316

Event: Proceedings of the Seventy Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: San Andres Island

Country: Colombia


Since 2011, islands in the Eastern Caribbean have been experiencing Sargassum influx events negatively impacting fisheries and tourism sectors, and causing substantial damage to Caribbean economies. These events have triggered much speculation about the impact on small-scale fishers’ livelihoods and their ability to cope and adapt to present and future Sargassum influx events. Conceptually, enhancing adaptive capacity and enabling self-organisation are key dimensions in developing resilience in fisheries social-ecological systems. In this study, we present the challenges facing Caribbean fishers during Sargassum events, and provide a summary of recommendations provided by fisherfolk for coping and adaptation. This information was obtained primarily through interviews with key informants (small-scale commercial and recreational fishers, fisherfolk organization representatives and fishery managers) in several eastern Caribbean islands. The intention is to produce a best practice handbook for the fisheries sector that includes effective social and technological innovations and strategies tailored to specific fisheries. The strategies range from simple, low cost fishing techniques to more advanced technological innovations, to adaptive strategies that can be employed at landing sites and out to sea. We anticipate that the handbook will be a useful addition to the existing knowledge base on management of Sargassum in the Caribbean by increasing the resilience of fishers through knowledge sharing and the promotion of innovative solutions.

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