Tue | Sep 26, 2017

Locals trained in sustainable fishing

Published:Thursday | June 2, 2016 | 6:00 AM

Close to 50 local fishermen recently received an education in what it means to fish sustainably, in the interest of their bottom line and toward the improvement of community-based marine protected areas in the Caribbean.

The workshops, held earlier this year, were done by Yardie Environmental Conservationists (YEC Ltd) through the Caribbean Fish Sanctuaries Partnership (C-FISH) that is being implemented by the CARIBSAVE Partnership.

Benefitting fishers were drawn from Oracabessa Bay, Portland and Whitehouse.

Held in James Bond Beach and Whitehouse respectively, the training sessions:

highlighted the potential of tapping into the underutilised offshore or pelagic fishery; explored alternative livelihood options related to offshore fishing, such as chartered fishing tours; and increased fishermen's knowledge of safety at sea.

To support lessons learned during the training, participating fishers were provided with equipment, including coolers, life jackets, raincoats, baits, circle hooks, and GPS.

"With the increasing number of persons getting involved in fishing, stocks have become and are continuing to be depleted at an alarming rate," said CARIBSAVE.

"For Jamaica, the majority of artisanal fishers target reef fish (e.g. parrot fish) and expanding fishers' knowledge and ability to tap into other fisheries such as pelagic or offshore fishers (e.g. tuna) was seen by the C-FISH Team as a way to support fishing livelihoods through expansion of livelihood product, and potentially reduce pressure on reef fisheries," the entity added, noting the importance of continuing to educate fishermen.

C-FISH is funded by UKaid from the Department for International Development through the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre.