Volume 72

Sustaining Fisheries and Livelihoods in Haiti’s, Three Bays Protected Area Community

Atis, M; F. Burrows; G. Hall
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Date: November, 2019

Pages: 344

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

City: Punta Cana

Country: Dominican Republic


The Caribbean Marine Biodiversity Program’s Fishing Gear Swap Pilot, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), was designed to help reduce juvenile fishing in Haiti’s Three Bays Protected Area, by promoting sustainable fishing practices among fisherfolk. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) together with fisheries experts and students from the Limonade Campus of Haiti’s State University, worked with fishers from the Madras community to replace small mesh traps that capture juveniles (≤ 5 inches in total length), to larger mesh traps targeting mature fish. Fishers that committed to being involved in the pilot received an incentive package with supplies to help maintain quality of catch, larger mesh traps, and training in proper fishing methods. Additionally, a community-based breadfruit flour production enterprise (ATRALMA) was established for these fishers and their family members to provide supplemental income, alleviating the need to solely fish to support their household consequently reducing fishing pressure. Temporary economic shortfalls were expected during the initial phase of the pilot, thus these incentives, including the set-up of the flour production business, were offered to offset short-term losses. During the pilot, fishers experienced a large increase in the number of mature fishes (> 7 inches) caught (e.g. grunts, jacks, snappers, and barracudas) compared to the catch composition of small mesh traps (many juvenile herbivores), leading to much higher profits with the shift in gear. There was also a 63% reduction in the number of parrotfishes caught which is a species critical to maintaining coral reef health. The breadfruit flour enterprise was also productive. The operationalization of ATRALMA led to flour production and sales throughout the Caracol- Madras district.

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