Volume 63

Current Status of the Small-scale Seine Fishery in Barbados.

Maraj, V., S-A. Cox, and H.A. Oxenford
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Date: November, 2010

Pages: 411-419

Event: Proceedings of the Sixty-Third Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: San Juan

Country: Puerto Rico


The seine fishery in Barbados is considered a minor fishery, operating largely as an alternative fishery during the pelagic fishery ‘off-season’ (June-September). As such, it remains poorly documented and the importance and contribution of this fishery to the island’s fishing industry is largely unknown. This study addresses this lack of information. Data were gathered between June and September 2010 through structured interviews with seine net captains, informal conversation with crew members, personal observation and participation in numerous fishing trips. There are an estimated 100 seine fishers (96% males) currently active in Barbados, operating six large seine nets based along the west (4), south (1) and east (1) coasts. Most fishers are 40 - 50 years old and are well educated. Nets range in length from 183 - 640 m (200 - 700 yd) and have panels ranging from 2.5 - 6.4 cm (1 – 2 ½”) mesh. Unlike the typical beach seine operations of neighbouring islands, Barbadian seine nets are set and hauled offshore. Furthermore, although all nets target schooling jacks when available, most also engage in ‘chubbing’, targeting reef fishes, particularly parrotfishes, grunts, and surgeonfishes. Stated mean catch per trip ranges among nets from 363 - 1,588 kg when targeting jacks, and from 79 - 204 kg when targeting reef fishes. A crude estimate of seasonal harvest indicates that between 78 - 257 mt of jacks (ex-vessel value of US$257,000 – 848,000) and 9 - 22 mt of reef fishes (ex-vessel value of US$48,500 - 123,500) are landed by this fishery between June and October. The contribution of the seine fishery to the island’s food security and economy is considerably greater than previously recognised. Management challenges include the poor coverage of this fishery by the catch monitoring system, lack of regulations and enforcement, and the potential impacts of removing large numbers of reef fishes, on the health of nearshore coral reefs.

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