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PART II - NATIONAL AQUACULTURE STATUS REPORTS

The information provided in the following National Reports were provided by country representatives during the workshop. Their publication, herein, does not imply any expression of or opinion on the accuracy, quality or veracity of the said information, by the editors or the FAO.

NATIONAL REPORT OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

by

Candia Williams
Fisheries Officer
Fisheries Division
Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries
Perry Bay, St. John’s
Antigua and Barbuda
Tel/Fax: +1268-4621372
Email: fisheries@candw.ag

I. GENERAL INFORMATION

Geography and Economy

Area

440 km²

Length of coastline

153 km

Shelf area

3 568 km²

Terrain

Antigua - A relatively high south western volcanic portion with a central diagonal plain and a north eastern limestone region


Barbuda - A low relatively uniform topography with highlands reaching an elevation of 30 m

Climate

Tropical

Population

59 355 (1991 census) 75,741 (2001 census)

Annual growth rate

16.3% (1991-2001)

Languages

English

Work force

26 753 (1991) 27% Public Sector, 0.03% Agriculture and Fisheries, 17% Hotels and Restaurants, 55.97% rest

Unemployment rate

3% (1991)

GDP

US$M 669.88 (2000) at market prices

GDP growth rate

0.06% (1992-2000)

GDP per capita

US$ 9 319.85 (2000) at market prices

Central Budget

US$ 224 428 478.65 (2002)

Currency unit

Eastern Caribbean Dollar


US$ 1.00 = EC 2.71 (May 2002)

Agriculture

0.4% of GDP at factor cost (2000)

Fisheries Data

Commodity balance (1999)

Fish for direct
human consumption

Production

Imports

Exports

Total supply

Per caput supply

‘000 mt live weight

kg/yr

1.36

2.11

0.055

3.42

48

Estimated employment


Primary sector

987 fishermen and women 46% full-time



54% part-time and subsistence


Secondary sector

30 vendors, 6 boat builders

Gross value of fisheries output (at ex-vessel prices - 1999)

US$8.1 million

Trade (1999)


Value of imports

US$ 9.0 million


Value of exports

US$ 0.5 million

II. STATUS OF AQUACULTURE PRODUCTION

Background

Antigua and Barbuda’s earliest attempts in the late 70s, at freshwater aquaculture were in the production of tilapia and catfish but these proved unsuccessful due to the constraints of low rainfall. In the early 1980s, UNDP/FAO Aquaculture Development and Coordination Programme and the Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission fielded two missions to the region to examine its aquaculture potential. The mission noted that Antigua had “many sheltered bays and suitable adjacent lands for the culture of juvenile snappers and groupers in cages”. Also identified was a demand for mariculture for high quality fish, crustaceans and sea moss for local consumption and for export.

In 1985, the Smithsonian Institute, at the request of the Peace Corps and with funding from the US Agency for International Development, chose Antigua as a pilot site for the production of the Caribbean King Crab, Mithrax spinosissimus. The area chosen was Nonsuch Bay, in the north eastern portion of the island, and afterward moved to Valley Church in the southwest. The successful adoption of the project was given a good prognosis but due to the high cost of grow out using tanks, and non-acceptance of Mithrax as a substitute for lobster, the project did not attract any investment.

Some experimental work was also done on the production of the Spiny lobster, Panulirus argus, in the Valley Church area at the same time. Results of this work were never shared with the Fisheries Division.

Other past projects included the culture of sea moss in Barbuda funded by the Canadian International Development and Research Centre. This was a two-year pilot project and though the project showed potential no private investors showed interest. Another project, the Antigua Shrimp Culture was financed by the Eastern Caribbean Mariculture Ltd, USAID, Bank of Antigua and the Caribbean Food Co-operation. The farm was located at Nonsuch Bay and had a quarantine/nursery laboratory and 6 two hectare grow-out ponds, supported by a 10-hectare reservoir. In 1985, commercial production of shrimp started using Penaeus vannamei and Penaeus monodon. The output was sold locally but yields were low, 0.36-0.57 metric tones per hectare, and there was difficulty in obtaining disease free juveniles (Fisheries Development Plan 2002-2005). The company has since gone out of business in Antigua.

Within the past year there have been about three proposals for aquaculture projects for the production of conch, lobsters, sea urchins, tilapia, sea cucumbers and aquarium fish. These proposals are still in the planning stage.

In the early 1990s there has been the culture of sea moss on an experimental scale by three persons in Antigua, and in 2000 one grower has gone commercial and has the potential to produce 200 lbs dry weight per day. However, due to low demand locally and the inability presently to access regional markets, this potential has not been realized. One other grower produces only for family and village consumption.

Contribution to national fisheries production

This is negligible. In 2000 only 666 lbs was sold valued at US$ 7 490. This is considered an insignificant contribution to the fisheries sector in the economy.

Species being cultured and the technologies used

The sea moss species cultured were Eucheuma and Gracilaria. Currently only Eucheuma is being grown. The sea moss is grown on lines in a shallow bay. Pieces of the moss are twisted into long lines of nylon rope and after a few weeks the moss is harvested leaving a portion of the moss in the rope for new growth to occur.

III. HANDLING AND MARKETING OF AQUACULTURE PRODUCTS

Processing of aquaculture products locally

Processing of the sea moss into a beverage is carried out by the local investor at his home. The sea moss is also packaged and sold dried.

Social acceptance of aquaculture products locally

Social acceptance of aquaculture products is limited to using the sea moss as a beverage. Local folklore has it that the drink has aphrodisiacal properties so it is drunk mainly by men.

Marketing of aquaculture products locally and externally

Handling and marketing of sea moss is done by the local investor himself and he is presently able to commit funds to tapping the only local market. He however has a website. How many sales this generates is unknown.

IV. EXISTING POLICY, PLANNING & MANAGEMENT OF AQUACULTURE

Government’s involvement in aquaculture development

Government’s involvement in aquaculture development is mainly advisory and to give subsides. Proposals are passed on to the Fisheries Division from the Minister for input. However, there are no trained aquaculturalists on staff. Generally, investors request a lease of government land.

Private sector involvement in aquaculture

All of the project proposals which have been put forward have come from private investors. Most of the investors have been local with additional funds being raised from non-local investors.

Monitoring and regulatory practice for aquaculture activities

Presently there are no monitoring and regulatory practices for aquaculture activities.

Strategy (existing/planned) for future development

The Fisheries Development Plan 1999-2003 recognises the need for mariculture for the following reasons:

To be noted, however, is that current fisheries legislation does not provide for “leasing and partitioning” a section of a bay to be used for mariculture projects. Thus far the only type of secure operation would be on land and that would incur high electricity costs. Also, as pointed out above, the Fisheries Division has no one trained in aquaculture. Current fisheries legislation does not address the development of aquaculture.

NATIONAL REPORT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMAS

by

Eleanor Phillips
Fisheries Officer
Department of Fisheries
Ministry of Commerce, Agriculture and Industry
Nassau
The Bahamas
Tel: +1242-3931777
Fax: +1242-3930238
Email: fisheries@batelnet.bs

I. GENERAL INFORMATION

Geography and Economy

Area

13 935 km²

Length of coastline

3 000 km (est.)

Shelf area

116 550 km²

Terrain

Flat

Climate

Sub-tropical

Population

300 000 (2000 census) 309 000 (est. 2001)

Annual growth rate

1.7% (2000)

Languages

English (official) and some Creole among Haitian immigrants

Work force

153 310 (2001) - Majority employed in Government,
hotel and restaurant, and financial sectors

Unemployment rate

7.5% (2000)

GDP

US$ 1 755 million (1988) US$4.9 billion (2000)

GDP growth rate

2% (1988)

GDP per capita

US$ 15 900 (2000)

Central Gov’t revenue

US$ 1.1 billion (2001/2002) est.

Currency unit

Bahamian Dollar


US$ 1.00 = B$ 1.00 (Oct 2002)

Agriculture

Exports: US$34.4 million (1989). Products: vegetables, lobster, fish

Industry

Types: tourism, banking, petroleum, pharmaceuticals, rum

Trade

Exports: Non-oil exports US$ 1 billion (1988) - salt, aragonite, timber, beverages and chemicals. Oil exports US$ 2.3 billion (1988).


Imports: US$ 1.6 billion (1988) - manufactured goods, oil, chemicals, machinery and transport equipment, food, live animals, beverages, tobacco.

Fisheries Data

Commodity balance (1997)

Fish for direct
human consumption

Production

Imports

Exports

Total supply

Per caput supply

‘000 mt live weight

kg/yr

5.1

2.2

2.6

4.7

16.5

Estimated employment (1995 Fisheries Census)


Primary sector

8 800 full-time


Secondary sector

200 full-time and 100 part-time

Gross value of fisheries output (At ex-vessel prices - 2001)

US$ 64.8 million

Trade (2001)


Value of imports

Not Available


Value of exports

US$ 72.3 million

II. STATUS OF AQUACULTURE PRODUCTION

Species cultured and technologies

Inland aquaculture

At present only one (1) facility in operation, Lucayan Aquaculture Company, Freeport Grand Bahamas, producing Penaeus vannamei in four (4) hectare size ponds making a total of ten acres in production. Post larvae imported from Central America for growout. Annual yield of 29 486.50 pounds of shrimp marketed during 2001.

Coastal aquaculture

None of the firms mentioned in the section under Coastal Aquaculture are presently operational.

Aquaculture technologies

The Technical Mission established by the Republic of China on Taiwan ceased operation in 1997.

Aquaculture statistics

29 486.50 pounds of Shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) were produced in the Bahamas during 2001 with a value of Bds$ 182 000.00

III. POLICY MAKING, PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT

The Department of Fisheries (DOF), which falls under the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Local Government (MAF), is responsible for the management of the fishery industry and for the implementation of fisheries policies and developmental objectives. The Department’s objectives for fisheries management are:

The Department of Fisheries is divided into four technical units (Research and Development, Resource Management, Resource utilization and Law Enforcement) and one administration unit. Presently the Department has no office dealing exclusively with aquaculture matters, although high priority has been attached to the development of this sector of the fishery industry. The policy of the Government of the Bahamas is not to invest directly into aquaculture production. However, through the regulatory role of the DOF, it promotes the development of aquaculture mainly through technical assistance and incentives (e.g. duty-free concession on imported equipment). The Department of Fisheries is headed by a Director supported by a total staff of about 50, out of which only tow have a background in aquaculture training and fieldwork. The above mentioned officers are responsible for all matters related to aquaculture with the Department.

The aquaculture industry is presently not regulated however a draft Aquaculture Act was prepared in 1984 with the assistance of FAO. The Act was prepared at a time when aquaculture in The Bahamas was at an early stage of development, although it would have provided the Government with the legal framework for controlling and directing the development of the industry, it was not introduced as part of the overall fisheries regulations.

In addition to what is stated in the document, there is a renewed interest by the government to develop aquaculture especially in the Family Islands.

Also, aquaculture is regulated under the present Fisheries Resources (Jurisdiction and Conservation) Regulations, 1986.

IV. TECHNICAL CAPABILITIES

Education and training

The College of the Bahamas does offer a marine biology course.

Research

Presently there are no institutions conducting research in aquaculture. Caribbean Marine Research Centre has discontinued the aquaculture research component at their facilities in Lee Stocking Island, Exuma.

Technical assistance and extension

Little government support in terms of technical assistance and extension services has been provided to the private sector operating commercial aquaculture ventures. Although the Department of Fisheries has been encouraging the promotion and development of the industry in the Bahamas through attractive investment conditions (e.g. land and sea areas lease/purchase agreement, duty-free importation of equipment and fish feed, etc.). The shortage of technical staff and the absence of a research/training facility made it almost impossible for the Department to provide technical support to interested parties. However, the Government hopes that the newly completed shrimp culture centre will enable the staff of the DOF to acquire technical experience, particularly in shrimp culture, so that an extension and technical assistance service can be provided to local and foreign investors.

The Government still offers technical support for project development and duty-free concessions for approved projects.

V. POTENTIAL FOR AQUACULTURE DEVELOPMENT

Physical potential

With regard to its natural resources, Bahamas enjoys a number of important advantages, which favour the establishment of aquaculture operations.

The landform is generally acceptable for aquaculture since large areas of level or gently sloping land above the water table occur in many of the islands. Factors which may constrain pond construction are: (i) the insufficient tidal range to permit filling of ponds at high tide and drainage at low tide, and (ii) the composition of land which is almost pure limestone. These constraints could be overcome by using pumps to manage water supply and by constructing lined earthen ponds, which would, however, considerably affect the initial investment cost as well as running expenses of the ponds, respectively.

Freshwater is available in sub-surface lenses ranging from 20-40 metres in depth in the northern Bahamas to 3-12 metres in the drier southern islands. Apart from these freshwater lenses, no rivers and few ponds exist, therefore significantly reducing the possibility of rearing freshwater species on a large commercial scale. Good quality seawater, on the other hand, is available in abundance, either from the surrounding sea or from wells.

In addition to the above resources, the Bahamas is rich in bays and channels of moderate depth (also relatively well protected from surf and storms), where floating culture structures could be installed and maintained.

In summary, it appears that the essential natural resources for marine aquaculture are abundant, while the potential development and expansion of freshwater aquaculture is limited by the lack of large supplies of freshwater.

Species

An increased interest in aquaculture projects is presently being manifested by the private sector. However, most of their attention is directed to the culture of marine shrimp. On the other hand, taking into account a number of geo-physical factors, which determine the possibility of commercial aquaculture activities in The Bahamas, it appears that the potential exists mainly for mariculture operations. Although research would still be required to improve the culture technology of some species (e.g. dolphin fish, pompano, grouper, snapper, sponges), the culture of other species such as Gracilaria, Eucheuma, queen conch (the latter for restocking depleted areas) and brine shrimp could be attempted. This is possible as a result of favourable environmental conditions and relatively well known culture technologies applied in other countries around the world (e.g. Eucheuma culture in the Philippines).

Finance

To date the Bahamas Development Bank (BDB) has not financed any aquaculture operations, although one loan application was submitted for a project in Freeport. Although the above loan application has not yet been approved, the BNB appears to be willing to support the aquaculture industry at normal commercial rates. So far the Bank has been approached mainly for loans for fishing vessels and processing plants.

VI. FISH HANDLING, PROCESSING AND MARKETING

Most of the products derived from aquaculture practices are presently for the local fresh market and sole mainly to restaurants (shrimp) through a very simple marketing system. However, locally produced shrimp is currently facing a marketing problem as it appears that the market is somewhat monopolized by one company that imports into the country frozen shrimps produced elsewhere in the region. With regard to processing, most of the existing plants efficiently handle and process products derived from the capture marine sector for the export markets. No plant is specifically handling aquaculture products possibly due to the small and unreliable quantities presently produced. However, should the production from aquaculture considerably increase, the present facilities might be willing to purchase the raw material for processing.

VII. CONCLUSIONS AND FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS

Aquaculture in the Bahamas has attracted a number of investors. However, although its large areas of level land, good sources of saltwater, shallow seawater free from pollution, favourable temperature and good export market potential in the United States, it appears that the development of the sector has progressed rather slowly. The reasons, which may have affected the growth of the industry, may have been multiple, possibly including lack of technology; shortage of investment capital; lack of freshwater; and rich capture fishery industry. It seems that the aquaculture sector in the Bahamas, although yet to become an important industry in terms of production output and revenue, has a good developmental potential particularly with regard to mariculture operations.

Aquaculture in the Bahamas seems to be attracting the attention of both local and foreign (mainly from the USA) investors. However, although a number of environmental and socio-economic factors would favour its development, the industry as a whole is still at an early stage of development. In order to further promote and encourage investments in the sector, the following actions should be promoted in the short term:

NATIONAL REPORT OF BARBADOS

by

Colvin Taylor
Fisheries Officer
Fisheries Division
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
Princess Alice Highway
Bridgetown
Barbados
Tel: +1246-4263745
Fax: +1246-4369068
Email: fisheries.admin@caribsurf.com

I. GENERAL INFORMATION

Geography and Economy

Area

430 km²

Length of coastline

90 km (est.)

Shelf area

320 km² (est.)

Terrain

Flat, rising to a ridge in the centre

Climate

Tropical

Population

267 900 (2000)

Annual growth rate

0.2% (2000)

Language

English

Work force

138 700 (2000)

Unemployment rate

Total: 9.2%, 11.3% female; 7.4% male (2000)

GDP

Bds$ 4 290 8 million at factor cost; Bds$ 28.7 million from fishing (2000)

GDP growth rate

3.5% (2000)

GDP per capita

$ 16 170 (2000)

Central Gov’t budget

- NA -

Currency unit

Barbados Dollar


US$ 1.00 = BD$ 2.00 (2000)

Agriculture

4.4% of GDP; includes fishing 0.7% (2000) Products - Sugar, food crops

Industry

9% of GDP (2000). Types: food, beverages, textiles, paper, chemicals, fabricated products, pharmaceuticals, rum.

Trade

Exports: $ 545.7 million (f.o.b., 2000)


Imports: $ 2,312.1 million (c.i.f., 2000)

Fisheries Data

Commodity balance (2000)

Fish for direct
human consumption

Production

Imports

Exports

Total supply

Per caput supply

‘000 mt live weight

kg/yr

3.12

3.4

0.27

6.23

23.3

Estimated employment (2000)


Primary sector

2 200 full-time and part-time fishermen


Secondary sector

3 800 in fisheries related activities - fish vendors, boat-builders, fish processors & fishery administration staff

Gross value of fisheries output (At ex-vessel prices - 2000)

US$ 7.5 million

Trade (2000)


Value of imports

US$ 17.5 million


Value of exports

US$ 2.3 million

II. STATUS OF AQUACULTURE PRODUCTION

Species cultured and technologies

Inland aquaculture

Tilapia

During the early 1980s a pilot tilapia fish farming project was set up at Greenland, St. Andrew by the Fisheries Division with support from USAID. The Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus, imported from Jamaica was used. The project was aimed at assessing the feasibility of commercially rearing tilapia in the island. This project did not succeed and ended in 1989 due to inadequate water supplies, fish thefts, poor soil quality, lack of security and limited market demand.

In the 1950s, the then Fisheries Officer D. Wiles reportedly introduced Oreochromis mossambicus too many of the existing bodies of freshwater on the island. Several private individuals from the 1980’s until about 1999 have carried out small-scale freshwater culture in small concrete tanks of local O. mossambicus, generally, with little success. These enterprises were typically integrated with small-scale agriculture, (e.g. irrigation of fruit trees, christophene vines, etc.) and production from these facilities amounted to only a few kilograms overall the life of these projects. One aquaculture venture used hybrid, O. mossambicus tilapia brood-stock and juveniles imported from Canada to assess the feasibility of intensive tilapia culture in Barbados using a re-circulating water system. The fish were fed an imported catfish ration. This project eventually failed due the high cost of electricity, water and labour.

Shrimps and prawns

Several private sector proposals to raise fresh water prawns and shrimps have been drawn up, but none have gone beyond the project formulation stages.

Coastal culture (mariculture)

Seamoss

Consett Bay is one of the few areas in Barbados where there is a protected bay suitable for seamoss farming. A project to culture sea moss was conducted by Government and fisherfolk from the Consett Bay area during the period February and March 1996. The seed species used was (Gracilaria sp.) imported from St. Lucia. It grew rapidly for about six weeks before suddenly disappearing from the long lines on which it had grown, reportedly having been stolen. In 1998 efforts were made to encourage fishers from the area to recommence culturing sea moss at Consett Bay. By December 1998 about 200 pounds (wet weight) was harvested from four PVC rafts. No sea moss has been cultured at this site since February 1999. The cessation of the activities is attributed to lack of interest on the part of the fishers involved, who do not seem inclined to assume the role of farmers. However, it has been demonstrated that this location can be used for seamoss farming, if motivated individuals can be found to culture the plants.

One private individual also started to cultivate Gracilaria species in 1996 at Half Moon Fort on the Northwest of the island. He progressed from using long-lines, to several designs of PVC rafts. The final design used commercially was 10 x 10 feet square and 1.5 feet deep with the sides and bottom covered with netting to prevent grazing by reef fish. The operator reported production figures of about 1800 and 700 pounds (dry weight) for 1998 and 1999 respectively. He started in 1998 with twenty (20) rafts and by the end of the year had increased the number of rafts to thirty-five (35). His level of production for 1998 varied between 40-60 pounds of dry seamoss per week. Each raft was reported to produce about 10 pounds of dried seamoss per harvest. This project was scaled down from mid 1999 after the operator could no longer find any one willing to work on the farm and he has since ceased production entirely.

An interesting fact concerning the mariculture of Gracilaria species at both of the sites mentioned was that thousands of juvenile lobsters were often found settled in the growing moss. This suggests that there is a potential for lobster mariculture enterprises in conjunction with seamoss culture.

Finfish

The rearing of the dolphin fish or mahi mahi (Coryphaena hippurus) was started by a private enterprise (Caribbean Aqua Farms) in November 1994. Juveniles were imported from Florida and stocked in offshore cages off Half Moon Fort, St. Lucy. The fish did not thrive and end production was very low. In 1997, mariculture activities at this facility were mainly related to the importation of fertilized dolphin eggs for hatching. However, this did not prove to be successful due to high larval mortality. Attempts were also made with little success to get dolphin captured around Barbados to spawn in captivity onshore. During 1998 this facility was basically inactive. Mariculture activities recommenced in mid 1999 under new management and red drum, (Sciaenops ocellatus) were cultured. The fertilized eggs were imported from Martinique and hatched out in an onshore hatchery. Juveniles were later stocked in the offshore sea cages for grow-out with some success. However, by June 2001, this project was winding down for repairs to the facilities and has been basically inactive since the end of 2001.

No coastal or inland aquaculture activities of note are currently being undertaken in Barbados.

III. POLICY MAKING, PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT

It is proposed to include aquaculture regulations among the suite of fisheries regulations to be introduced in the near future. The regulations will set out the requirements for aquaculture enterprises with emphasis on environmental management.

The Barbados Aquaculture Association was formed in 1991 under the umbrella of the Barbados Agricultural Society aimed at being a focal point for public and private sector interests in aquaculture sector development. However, its main role was never defined and the association has not been active in aquaculture related activities.

IV. TECHNICAL CAPABILITIES

Education and training

An aquaculture research centre was opened at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill in 1987. One doctoral (PhD) student worked on tilapia larval production and rearing activities. This work has since been completed. The building is no longer used for aquaculture purposes and no one is currently actively involved in aquaculture research anywhere in the island.

The Caribbean Conservation Association continues to promote programmes aimed at formulating and implementing solutions to environmental problems. It also seeks to provide consultancy services related to natural resource development as well as to implementing natural resource projects.

Research

As mentioned earlier, an aquaculture project was established at the Greenland Agricultural Station in 1983 and lasted until 1989. The 0.63 acres of ponds and a hatchery are no longer used for applied aquaculture research. The Fisheries Division is not presently in a position to carry out any applied aquaculture research due to lack of facilities and trained personnel.

Technical assistance and extension

The Fisheries Division’s technical assistance and extension activities are confined to providing available information to persons interested in aquaculture and monitoring the activities of aquaculture operations. UWI no longer provides technical support, but the former Ph.D. student continues to offer advice on an ad hoc basis to interested persons. The Analytical Services Laboratory can assist with the analysis of soil and water samples.

V. POTENTIAL FOR AQUACULTURE DEVELOPMENT

Physical potential

The development of aquaculture in Barbados would certainly be aided by the favourable tropical condition, which includes a high temperature and salinity stability all year round. However, other factors severely limit these developmental possibilities.

With regard to the land, it has been shown that the limited supply of both freshwater and suitable soil types is a major constraint to the development of fish farming in Barbados at a significant scale. The permeable nature of coral rock, which forms 86% of the island, allows water to percolate into the soil thus reducing surface run-off, especially during the dry season, and the formation of significant freshwater bodies. The dearth of bodies of surface water is therefore a main constraint on inland aquaculture development. Nevertheless, with agreement from Barbados Water Authority, ground water could be pumped to the surface and used for fish rearing. Presently, a great number of private wells exist on the island for agriculture irrigation, and the association of agriculture and aquaculture activities could offer a more rational use of the pumped water.

Even artificial ponds cannot be cheaply constructed at most areas around the island due to the porous nature of the coral rock-cap. This is a major factor limiting the development of inland aquaculture activities. Only two main areas with appropriate soil characteristics have been identified in the country where artificial ponds can be dug. They are the Scotland District and in St. George Valley, in the northern and central parts of the island, respectively. The two areas have various patches of clay, silt-clay and sand-clay layers, variable, however, in depth, soil plasticity and permeability.

With regard to the coastline, various sides of the islands have specific and predominant characteristics. The East Coast is exposed to wind driven currents and strong wave action. Coral reef development along this coast is generally poor, with only a few patches. There is a high degree of urbanization in the southern part of the coast. Cliffs with a few small bays characterise the eastern coastline in both the southern and northern quadrants. The west and south coasts, despite being the most protected areas and potentially the most suitable for mariculture are highly urbanized and cater mainly for the important tourism industry.

Species

Such unfavourable geographical conditions seriously limit the type of aquaculture and the species that can be reared. The commercial culture of marine finfish and shrimp on a large-scale are unlikely to develop due to the absence of suitable physical resources (land space, lagoons, and protected bays). The development of submergible marine netcages could be the only alternative although it would be extremely costly and technically demanding due to the exposure of the coastline and narrowness of the continental shelf.

Taking into account the physical factors, which greatly determine the possibility of commercial aquaculture development in Barbados, the limited potential exists for the following types of culture:

VI. CONCLUSIONS AND FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS

It should also be noted that Barbadian consumers prefer marine fish. Introducing freshwater fish, shellfish and even non-native marine fish to the local market will only be commercially successful if accompanied by an intensive promotion effort. Therefore, any aquaculture enterprise in Barbados will have to factor in the costs of marketing their produce.

NATIONAL REPORT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF DOMINICA

by

Algernon Philbert
Fisheries Assistant
Fisheries Division
Ministry of Agriculture
Bay Front, Roseau
Dominica
Tel/Fax: +1809-4480140
Email: cfra@cwdom.dm

I. GENERAL INFORMATION

Geography and Economy

Area

754 km²

Length of coastline

152.93 km

Shelf area

716.45 km²

Terrain

Mountainous volcanic island with rain forest cover

Climate

Tropical

Population

81 200 (1988 est.)

Annual growth rate

0.3%

Languages

English (official); French patois is widely spoken

Work force

43 000 (1988) - Agriculture 37%, Services 30%, Industry and Commerce 20%

Unemployment rate

10% (1988)

GDP

US$ 114 million (1988)

GDP growth rate

5.6% (1988)

GDP per capita

US$ 1 650 (1988)

Central Gov’t Budget

US$ 40 million (1998)

Currency unit

Eastern Caribbean Dollar


US$ 1.00 = EC$ 2.71 (May 2002)

Agriculture

Products: bananas, citrus, coconuts, cocoa, essential oils.

Industry

Types: agricultural processing, soap and other coconut based products, apparel, cigars

Trade

Exports: US$ 55.5 million (1988)
- bananas, citrus, fruits, soap, cocoa.
Imports: US$ 87.5 million (1998)
- machinery and equipment, foodstuff, manufactured articles, cement.

Fisheries Data

Commodity balance (2000)

Fish for direct
human consumption

Production

Imports

Exports

Total supply

Per caput supply

‘000 mt live weight

kg/yr

1.15

0.67

0.00

1.82

22.20

Estimated employment (1983)


Primary sector

An estimated 2 000 part-time and full-time fishermen


Secondary sector

Not Available

Gross value of fisheries output (at ex-vessel prices - 2000)

US$ 2.4 million

Trade (2000)


Value of imports

US$ 1.58 million


Value of exports

Negligible

II. STATUS OF AQUACULTURE PRODUCTION

Species cultured and technologies

Inland aquaculture

Currently, the Asian freshwater giant prawn, Macrobrachium rosenbergii is the only species being cultured in Dominica. With regard to the existing level of operations, there are four private farms in operation.

All of the freshwater prawn post-larvae are produced at the Government-owned Prawn Experimental Farm in Belfast. The infrastructure of the station was completed in 1984 and the first stock of post-larvae was obtained from Guadeloupe and introduced into the grow-out ponds in late 1985. Two years later the facility was further expanded to include a clear water hatchery system set-up with funds and technical assistance of Taiwan (Province of China) through the Taiwanese Agriculture Cooperation Mission.

Coastal aquaculture

Due to the topography of the country, with its steep coastline, limited sites are available for coastal aquaculture. At the present moment, the indigenous population of seamoss (Gracilaria sp.), which is found throughout the island, is popularly harvested for human consumption as a drink or in a jelly form. However, due to over-exploitation of the natural stocks, the Fisheries Division has included in its National Fishery Sector Plan for the period 1992-93, the initiative of culturing the seaweed utilizing the technology developed in Saint Lucia, i.e. bamboo rafts and/or long-line culture method.

Aquaculture technologies

The Agricultural Mission of Taiwan (Province of China) constructed a marine hatchery at Canefield and began growing tilapia in saltwater but the mission closed the facility in 1998. The physical structures remain, with tilapia in the concrete ponds, but no aquaculture activities occur on that site today.

With regard to the Asian freshwater giant prawn (Macrobrachium sp.), the Fisheries Division feels that the available technology ranks to acceptable world standards, particularly when considering the level of post-larvae survival. However, the refinement of the on-growing technology is presently affected by the lack of facilities and technical experience, particularly in the field of nutrition.

Coastal aquaculture (mariculture) has been attempted on a number of occasions to grow seamoss (Gracilaria sp.) in sufficient quantities to supply two local beverage manufacturers. The quantities demanded were never produced so the beverage manufacturers have to import some of the raw materials (dried seamoss) from other neighbouring islands. The local beverage manufacturers are planning to employ persons to increase local production, but the problem of larceny is a major concern.

A project to propagate hard and soft corals using local species for export and reef restoration was granted a license in 1998. The licensee attempted to export a shipment of stony corals which is listed on CITES Appendix II. The shipment was confiscated in the US, so only soft corals can be exported at present. Some propagation of hard corals continues but this is focussed on the restoration of degraded areas within the Cabrits Marine Park.

Aquaculture statistics

Reliable production statistics are not available. Bearing in mind the present number and size of the operations, a combined output estimate of the Macrobrachium species can be placed in the range of a couple of thousand kilogrammes. No accurate data is also available for seamoss collected from the wild stocks.

III. POLICY MAKING, PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT

The Fisheries Division (FD) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Fisheries and Forestry (MALFF) is the government office responsible for aquaculture policy making and for the co-ordination of all planning in this sector of the fisheries industry. The main objectives of the FD concerning aquaculture development are:

The FD is made up of five units including the Aquaculture Unit.

The aquaculture activities of the public sector have declined since 1996 when the experimental hatchery was handed over to the agricultural mission of the Taiwan (Province of China). No official records or information on the activities are available from that facility.

In addition to the ordinary legislation related to land tenure, sanitary regulation, etc., the only specific reference to aquaculture is made in the Fisheries Act No. 11/1987; the specific reference relating to aquaculture provides for the leasing of seabed areas to persons interested in aquaculture development. The Act can be deemed to be complemented by a series of laws issued by other ministries, such as the Ministries of Health and the Environment.

IV. TECHNICAL CAPABILITIES

Education and training

No academic institutions exist in Dominica where education and training in aquaculture related subjects could be obtained. Formal academic education can, however, be obtained at the University of West Indies (UWI) either in the Campus of Cave Hill in Barbados, Mona Campus in Jamaica and in the Campus of St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, although a specific programme in aquaculture is not available. The UWI has an exclusive liaison centre on the island.

There is need for trained aquaculturists if fully commercial ventures are to be developed.

The Government of Dominica although not providing technical assistance and extension service to farmers interested in the aquaculture has supportive of prawn culture. This is the result of a greater interest manifested by the private sector due to the higher market price and demand of prawn compared to the tilapia.

Research

The only facility available to the public sector is closed; there are no active aquaculture research activities at the present time.

Technical assistance and extension

The Fisheries Division provides as much support as possible to the private sector with regard to advice and extension. The support provided to interested investors and existing farmers include (i) land survey for site suitability, (ii) technical assistance for pond construction and water management and (iii) facilitating the supply of prawn post-larvae free of import duties or at subsidized cost.

V. POTENTIAL FOR AQUACULTURE DEVELOPMENT

Physical potential

Although the island of Dominica is of volcanic origin and characterized by a rugged landscape, suitable sites are reasonably available for inland aquaculture development, where small-scale operations (earth ponds) can be established. With regard to surface freshwater, it is abundantly available throughout the island and therefore not a limiting factor.

An overall land survey of the country, for the identification of suitable sites for aquaculture development, has been carried out in the recent past mainly with regard to land morphology and water availability. The Fisheries Division, however, feels that an additional survey is required taking into account other important factors such as land geology (i.e. soil type), land ownership, and availability of infrastructures (roads, electricity and other services). Development of coastal aquaculture, although possibly achievable in certain areas and by using certain culture techniques (e.g. long-lines), has generally not been attempted because of the exposed coastlines.

Species

In spite of the availability of the country’s natural resources, land topography/morphology, available technologies and present market demand, the only aquaculture development existing in today Dominica is semi-commercial for the following types of culture:

Loans for farmers interested in commercial aquaculture operations can be obtained either from the National Commercial Bank (a semi-government institution) and the Agricultural Industrial Development Bank (AIDB) under the Ministry of Development. The AIDB has established a main credit line of US$ 1 million for the development of the fishery and aquaculture industry, which however has been underutilized. The loans available through the above mentioned banks are offered at an annual interest rate of 11.5 and 17% per year.

VI. FISH HANDLING, PROCESSING AND MARKETING

At present, production from aquaculture operations (as most of the catch from the capture fishery) is sold fresh either in the vicinity of the culture sites or in small outlets in the major inhabited centres. Freshwater prawns are usually graded according to size and mainly sold directly to hotels and restaurants. Previously there was a grading system and government sale prices were as follows:


· Grade A (Large)

13-17 prawns/kg

@ US$ 5.8 /kg


· Grade B (Medium)

26-35 prawns/kg

@ US$ 5.2/kg


· Grade C (Small)

35-53 prawns/kg

@ US$ 4.7/kg

The prices are presently averaging US$ 13.25 per kilogram. Once the private sector started producing the prawn with severely reduced production subsidy costs became higher and consequently the increase in the retail prices of the product.

VII. CONCLUSIONS AND FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS

Within the limits of freshwater and coastal aquaculture development in Dominica, the Government, through the Fisheries Division, remains committed to the promoting the development aquaculture in the country.

NATIONAL REPORT OF GRENADA

by

Jude Andrews
Fisheries Officer
Fisheries Division
Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry and Fisheries
Ministerial Complex, Botanical Gardens
Tanteen, St. George’s
Grenada
Tel: +1473-4403814
Fax: +1473-4404191
Email: grenfish@caribsurf.com

I. GENERAL INFORMATION

Geography and Economy

Area

344 km²

Length of coastline

121 km

Shelf area

3 100 km²

Terrain

Volcanic in origin, with interior dominated by mountain peaks, steep ridges, and deep narrow valleys.

Highest peak

Mount St. Catherine - 833 m

Climate

Tropical

Population

100 703 (1999 est.)

Annual growth rate

0.45%

Languages

English (official); some vestigial French patois

Work force

42 250 (22 679 male; 19 571 female) - Agriculture 33%, Industry 17%, Other 50%

Unemployment rate

17% (1996); 10.3% male, 24.8% female

GDP

US$ 243 million at factor cost in constant prices (1999)

GDP growth rate

7.51% (1999)

GDP per capita

US$ 2 413 (1999)

Central Gov’t Budget

US$ 89.8 million (1999)

Currency unit

Eastern Caribbean Dollar


US$ 1.00 = EC$ 2.71 (May 2002)

Agriculture

10% of GDP (1999). Products: nutmeg, mace, cocoa, bananas, fruits, vegetables.

Industry

22.23% of GDP (1997). Types: Manufacturing (5.4%) (7.03%), hotel/restaurant (7.87%), construction (7.33%)

Trade

Exports: US$ 42 million (1998)
- nutmeg, mace, cocoa, bananas, fruits, vegetables, clothing.
Imports: US$ 206 million (1998)
- food, machinery and transport, manufactured goods, fuel.

Fisheries Data

Commodity balance (2000):

Fish for direct
human consumption

Production

Imports

Exports

Total supply

Per caput supply

‘000 mt live weight

kg/yr

1.70

0.44

0.54

1.60

16.0

Estimated employment (2000)


Primary sector

An estimated 1749 fishermen, 85% full-time,
15% part-time and subsistence


Secondary sector

100 vendors, 20 boat builders

Gross value of fisheries output (at ex-vessel prices - 2000)

US$ 2.64 million

Trade (2000)


Value of imports

US$ 1.5 million


Value of exports

US$ 2.64 million

II. STATUS OF AQUACULTURE PRODUCTION

Species cultured and technologies

Inland aquaculture

Inland aquaculture in Grenada is currently carried out on a limited scale. In 1982 some Oreochromis niloticus were released in selected rivers and ponds in the northeast and western regions of the island, but this only resulted in subsistence activities. In the late 80s, a pond culture project on the Asian giant freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) was funded by the Organization of American States (OAS) and operated by the Grenada Science and Technology Council. Although encouraging results were obtained from the pilot project and some interest stimulated among the private sector, there were practically no follow-up activities either from the Government or the private sector. In 1992 a pilot project (funded by the Peoples Republic of China - Taiwan), was established to produce fresh water juvenile prawns (M. rosenbergii), to farmers. It consists of a hatchery and grow-out ponds, and five farmers were assisted by Government to construct ponds, while several more showed interest in its farming. Tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) was also cultured. However, when the technical assistance from Taiwan ceased in 2000/2001, operations at the project were severely affected due to lack of adequate funding, and Government has since commercialized on a lease basis, operations at the facility, where salt water shrimp is produced.

Coastal aquaculture

Attempts in culturing seamoss (Gracilaria sp.) were carried out by the Artisanal Fisheries Development Project in the mid-80ss with financial support from the International Fund for agriculture Development (IFAD). Although encouraging results were obtained, no commercial operations were established due to the selection of unsuitable culture sites and theft of the culture rafts.

During the same period, a Caribbean king crab (Mithrax spinosissimus) culture research project, financed by a private investor, was underway in the island of Carriacou. The project was eventually abandoned due to financial difficulties of the investor.

Aquaculture technologies

The aquaculture technology available in Grenada is limited to the culture of seamoss. Some experience in the culture of the freshwater prawn is also locally available. However, most of the know-how is limited to one skilled staff of the Fisheries Division. Therefore, in order for the country to develop its limited potential, applied and adaptive research are needed to develop simple technologies suitable for the local environmental and socio-economic conditions.

Aquaculture statistics

Up until 2001, approximately 0.5 metric tons of aquaculture products were produced. Approximately 80% were fresh water prawns (M. rosenbergii), and 20% Tilapia (O. mossambicus). However, production has since declined. However, with the commercialisation of the aquaculture facility, production is expected to increase in the near future, although not significantly since the facility is limited in land space for pond construction. It seems, however, that the on-going development in many neighbouring countries would stimulate interest in the public sector to promote and assist the development of a local industry.

III. POLICY MAKING, PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT

The Fisheries Division (FD) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry and Fisheries (MALFF) is the government office responsible for aquaculture policy making, planning and co-ordination of all developmental efforts directed towards the sector. Only one staff member of the Fisheries Resource Unit has some experience in aquaculture having received two years training in aquaculture in Cuba, as well as having participated in three short training courses in seamoss culture in St. Lucia, and freshwater prawn culture in Taiwan and Jamaica.

One of the specific objectives of the Unit is to develop an aquaculture and freshwater resources assessment programme. However, although the above objective has been highlighted from 1992 in the Operational Plans of the Fisheries Division, no funding has been allocated to the programme, due to the limited funds available to the Fisheries Division.

The aquaculture sector is presently not receiving much attention nor emphasis compared to the capture fishery sector, although the Government is seeking and welcomes external support to establish aquaculture projects aimed at developing and promoting the sector as an option to the capture fishery and use of marginal agricultural land.

Apart from legislation related to land tenure, use of inland waters, sanitary regulations, etc., the only specific reference to aquaculture is made in the Fisheries Act No. 15/1986 dealing with leasing of sea areas for mariculture activities (e.g. seamoss culture).

IV. TECHNICAL CAPABILITIES

Education and training

One academic institution (St. Georges University) exists in Grenada where education and training in marine biology or related subjects such as aquaculture can be obtained. Formal education, specific to aquaculture, can also be obtained at the St. Augustine campus of the University of West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago.

Research

Currently, the only public facility available is the aquaculture facility provided by the Government of Taiwan, which produced mainly freshwater prawns and tilapia to a lesser extent. However, the facility is now commercialised and special arrangement must be negotiated with the private owners to use the facility for research purposes.

Technical assistance and extension

Due to the shortage of staff, budget constraints and lack of any research/training facilities, the Fisheries Division has been unable to provide the necessary technical assistance to farmers who expressed keen interest in aquaculture.

V. POTENTIAL FOR AQUACULTURE DEVELOPMENT

Physical potential

Grenada is a volcanic island characterized by a mountain ridge (highest peak: 840 m) that forms a spine throughout the length of the island. The centre of the island is covered by a relatively thick rain forest. With regard to the coastline, various sides of the island have specific and predominant characteristics. The west coast is dominated by steep cliffs alternated with rather small flat rivers outlets usually few centimetres above the mean sea level. Flat alluvial plains on the other hand dominate the northeast coast, while the southeast coast is characterized by a number of large protected bays usually associated with river outlets and alluvial platforms.

The climate of the island is typically tropical with a mild dry season lasting from January to May. The rest of the year the weather remains rather wet with a mean temperature ranging between 30-32oC. Rainfall varies from 1 500 mm/year in the coastal areas to about 4 000-6 000 mm/year in the mountains.

The favourable tropical conditions of the island (high temperature and salinity stability all year round) and the good quality of the inland (freshwater) and coastal (seawater) waters would certainly aid aquaculture development in Grenada. However, the potential developmental degree of the sector is likely to be limited by the availability of land.

According to the findings of a FAO technical mission to Grenada in 1986, approximately 100 hectares of flat lands have been identified as suitable for aquaculture operations, most of that is located along the north-eastern coast. The above-mentioned land, however, belongs to private farmers and therefore a number of socio-economic constraints may additionally hinder the development of the industry.

Species

Although a number of technical and socio-economic factors could favour the development of aquaculture in Grenada, such as the good water quality, availability of freshwater supply by gravity, relatively cheap labour cost and the possibility of incentives for private investors, others seriously limit the development potential of the industry. Among the limiting technical factors are the lack of skilled staff, low concentration of wild fry of high value species (e.g. groupers and marine shrimps), and the limited availability of suitably large coastal areas. The high energy cost, the present situation of the banking system and the lack of capital on the other hand are some of the economic factors which will likely hamper the development of aquaculture particularly at the level of small owners. A limited potential, however, does exists for the following types of culture:

Finance

The Grenada Development Bank (GDB) is the only government financing institution that provides loans to fishermen at an interest rate ranging between 8-9% instead of 11.5% charged by other commercial banks. However, although the same rate conditions would be applied to farmers interested in developing aquaculture projects, so far the bank has yet to receive any loan requests for such projects.

VI. FISH HANDLING, PROCESSING AND MARKETING

The fish catch in Grenada is distinctly for the fresh fish market. There are presently eight market centres and one central facility in St. George equipped with blast freezers, chillers, etc. Seasonal supply continues to affect the consistent availability of fish on the local market. With specific regard to species, which could be cultured locally, handling and processing would not cause serious problems if the production were for the local market. Factors which would certainly facilitate the handling and processing aspects of the industry are: (i) small size of the country and therefore a rapid transportation of the products from one site to another, and (ii) the products would be mainly, if not totally, for the fresh market. However, in order to encourage the development of the industry other marketing and economic aspects need to be seriously analysed and considered prior to investing in any particular project. Some of the aspects, which should receive due consideration, are market acceptability of the product (e.g. tilapia) and production costs.

VII. CONCLUSIONS AND FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS

Aquaculture in Grenada is not a developmental priority if compared to the capture fishery sector. However, it appears that the Government, although financially unable to channel much effort towards the development of the industry, is willing to support international and regional activities aimed at promoting the sector. To date the aquaculture industry as a whole is still at a very early stage of development. Finally, the country would be willing to collaborate closely and exchange information with neighbouring countries, most of which already have some kind of research/training facility.

Considering the past actions carried out by the Fisheries Division such as the FAO Aquaculture Feasibility Study in Grenada in 1986 (TCP/GRN/6651), and the hatchery funded by Taiwan (Province of China), the short and medium-term priorities aimed at strengthening and supporting the role of the FD in promoting aquaculture development seem to be the following:

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