Volume 67

Understanding the Current Fisheries and Available Marine Resources in Small Island Nations of the Caribbean: The Establishment of a Baseline for Native Governance to Manage Their Marine Resources

*de Waegh, R. and P. Chaibongsai
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Date: November, 2014

Pages: 99 - 106

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

City: Christ Church

Country: Barbados


Caribbean island nations appear to have a sparse amount of knowledge on their own fish stocks. In order for any management plan to be successful, there is an essential need for all sectors within the fishing industry to be aware of the current fisheries and available marine resources. The Billfish Foundation (TBF) has investigated through previous research in Australia and Bermuda the importance of local stakeholders involvement when it comes to policy and decision-making. In these places, a top-down approach seems to be unsuccessful and is why TBF believes that research, communication and action must start with a bottom-up approach. When local governance is disregarded, stakeholders lose their pride and incentives to protect their own resource. Such self-reliance is critical for the local sectors as ultimately they are the ones who will be managing their fisheries. TBF understands the importance of artisanal fishermen and therefore is seeking to collaborate with them, and other resource users involved in both the post and pre harvest fishing industry sectors, in hopes of obtaining a baseline of statistical catch data. Without a baseline composed of actual numbers, there is no ground for policy makers or fisheries managers to stand on. TBF is engaged with stakeholders to collect relevant data in order to establish a model and creating a way for local stakeholders to manage their marine resources. Data collection will be gathered from indigenous fishermen since many of them could account for a majority of fish caught in their respective region. Through discourse with relevant stakeholders and local officials, TBF hopes to encourage active regional participation in fisheries management issues.

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