Management of
large pelagic fisheries in
CARICOM Countries

Edited by
Robin Mahon
Patrick A. McConney
Centre for Resource Management
and Environmental Studies (CERMES)
University of the West Indies
Cave Hill Campus, Barbados


Rome, 2004
Table of Contents

Cover photograph:

Large photo: Small open boats on Jessups beach, Nevis, are used to troll for large pelagics
(courtesy of Robin Mahon)

Top inset: A large dolphinfish landed at Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines
(courtesy of the Fisheries Division, St Vincent and the Grenadines)

Middle inset: Monitoring the catch at Gouyave, Grenada
(courtesy of Sandra Grant)

Bottom inset: Longliners and trailers at the Bridgetown Fisheries Complex, Barbados
(courtesy of Robin Mahon)

The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

ISBN 92-5-105107-0

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© FAO 2004


Preparation of this document



Acronyms and abbreviations

Issues in the management of large pelagic fisheries in CARICOM countries

Rationale for the project

International agreements - a context for the management of large pelagic fisheries
The project

Legal implications and options for regional cooperative arrangements for the management of coastal and oceanic large pelagic resources for CARICOM states

International law on cooperation for the management of fish stocks in the CARICOM region

Law of the Sea Convention
Compliance Agreement
Fish Stocks Agreement
Brief comparison of the Law of the Sea Convention and the Fish Stocks Agreement

Existing regional fisheries entities and options for future cooperation mechanisms

Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission
International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas
Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism
Considerations and options


Status and assessment of large pelagic resources

Assessment of large pelagic stocks of importance to CARICOM countries

ICCAT assessments
Other assessments

Trends in landings as reported to FAO

FAO database

Relative abundance and distribution from united states longline logbook data

Relative abundance of oceanic species within the EEZS of CARICOM countries as inferred from ICCAT data

ICCAT fishing effort and catch data


Harvest sector

Commercial fisheries

Fleet description
Foreign-flagged vessels
Main fishing areas for large pelagic species
Ports (landing sites) from which pelagic fishing takes place
Description of shore facilities used for pelagic fishing
Number of persons employed in the harvest sector
Availability of input supplies and support industries for pelagic fishing
Vessel ownership
Incentives and/or taxes for pelagic fisheries
Share and salary systems
Vessel and crew insurance
Determinants for entry or exit of vessels and fishers into or from the fishery
Sources of new vessels
Sources of formal and informal credit
Training of fishery workers
Profiles of the main groups of fishers
Levels of dependency on the fishery
Employment alternatives for fishers and others in the pelagic fishery
Estimates of fishery value

Recreational fisheries

Numbers of charter vessels
Numbers of private local vessels
Visiting sport fishing vessels
Sport fishing tournaments
Sport fishing associations
Valuation of sport fisheries


Post-harvest sector

Onshore facilities for post-harvest handling and storage
Types of processing for large pelagics
Local marketing arrangements
Export arrangements
Quality regulation/monitoring
Value-added estimates for the large pelagic fishery
Employment in post-harvest handling and processing of pelagic fish

National management and development of large pelagic fisheries

Documented policies on development or management of large pelagic fisheries
Documented plans for development or management of large pelagics
Legislation governing development or management of large pelagics
Development opportunities and constraints
Planned or anticipated developments in fisheries for large pelagics

Plans to add new vessels to the large pelagics fleet
Plans to pursue joint ventures
Plans to issue foreign licences
Plans to pursue fishing agreements for the fleet
Plans to build or expand fishing ports and/or shore facilities

Existence of conflicts on land or at sea involving large pelagic fisheries
Human resource capacity

Training of fishery officers in matters relating to large pelagic fisheries
Existence of stakeholder organizations
Data-collection and management systems
Research related to large pelagic species

Fishing capacity management

Vessel licensing and registration systems
Active management of fishing capacity
Foreign-flagged vessels
Monitoring, control and surveillance capacity and practices


International arrangements and agreements

Existence of special arrangements for trade in pelagic fishery products
Status of fish stocks agreement
Status of compliance agreement
Approach to interaction with ICCAT

Options for future management of large pelagics

Option of not participating in collaborative management: the “do nothing”option
Institutional arrangements for the management of large pelagic fisheries of interest to CARICOM countries

Choice between separate organizations for ocean-wide and regional species or one organization for all species
Participation in ICCAT
Competent organization for regional species

CARICOM participation in the management of fisheries for large pelagics
Costs of shared management

Options for achieving successful, sustainable management of large pelagic fish resources in the CARICOM region

Management of oceanic large pelagic resources
Management of coastal large pelagic resources

Regional fishery management organization
Regional working group

Proposed next steps

Management of oceanic large pelagic resources
Management of coastal large pelagic resources

The way forward


Appendix: Distribution maps for the main species assessed by ICCAT

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