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Recreational fisheries

Recreational fishing can be a significant component of the harvest subsector in many places. It may be done either by individuals fishing from their own boats or by charter vessels. These fisheries can have a significant impact on pelagic resources, particularly large, long-lived species such as billfish. Some places in the Caribbean are known for their sport fishing and attract visitors for that purpose. In others, charter-boat fishing may simply be a component of the overall marine-based tourism offering.

TABLE 33

Employment alternatives for fishers and others in the pelagic fishery

Country

Availability

ANT

Employment levels high; pelagic fishers mainly from other countries

BAR

See Tables 34 and 35 below. Other sources include: McConney (1995); Mahon and Willoughby (1990)

Some owners reporting small proportion of income from industry said it was “hobby”, or boat’s commercial fishing supported their recreational fishing, or they no longer were concerned with boat as it had failed to yield income

BHA

Alternatives vary from island to island and are seasonal when related to tourism

BZE

NA

DMI

No alternatives in some east coast villages; otherwise construction, agriculture, etc., but options limited

GRN

Seasonal shift to farming and construction

GUY

No documented information. Numerous other options within fishing industry for those engaged in pelagic fishing

JAM

Few alternatives; unemployment very high in Jamaica

STK



SK

Only 30% of fishers are full time. Rest work in construction, etc.


NE

Switching between fisheries is common

STL

Various alternatives are available seasonally or intermittently, such as stevedoring, agriculture, water taxis and sport fishing

STV

Farming, construction (temporary), public works clean-up

SUR

NA

TRI



TR



TO

Artisanal fishers switch fishery seasonally but are mostly full time

TABLE 34

Proportion of income from fishing industry in Barbados (%)

Proportion of income

Fisher

Owner

Vendor

Processor

0 to 1/4

2

38



>1/4 to 1/2

3

17

3


>1/2 to 3/4

3

7

6


>3/4 to all

90

35

88

100

Don’t know

2

3

3


Sample (number)

126

40

32

5

TABLE 35

Fishers’ alternative work in and out of the fishing season in Barbados (%)

Alternative work in out of season

Fisher

Owner

Vendor

Processor


In / out

In and out

In / out

In and out

No alternative work

88

70

20

91

81

100

Fisheries-related

3

3

10

3

10


Managerial/professional

1

1

23




Technical/artisanal

3

13

20




Commercial/transport

2

3

7




Agriculture-related

1

4

7

3

3


General labour

1

5

3


3


Preaching

1

1

3




Administrative



3

3

3


Household



2




Recreational



2




Sample (number)

126

125

40

32

32

5

TABLE 36

Estimates of the value of the large pelagic fishery

Country

Availability

Comments/estimates

ANT

Not available

Pelagic landings not recorded separately. Information needs to be acquired from Barreto

BAR

Based on landings x average ex-vessel price

US$ 3.3 million approximate estimate based on US$ 3.30/kilogram (kg)

BHA

Not available

Value would be in terms of recreational value, see next section

BZE

Available only for mackerel

Voice of the Fisherman in Southern Belize valued annual catch of cero and Spanish mackerel at US$ 52 121 and US$ 2 070 respectively, for total of US$ 54 191.This was 5% of total value of fishery catch in area covered by report

DMI

Not available


GRN

Available 1978-2000

US$ 3.931 million (79% of total fishery value) in 2000

GUY

Not available


JAM

Not available

Has not been compiled. Can be estimated from census (Grant et al., 2001) and Trip Interview Program (TIP) data at Fisheries Division, FAO

STK



SK

Not available

Calculated as US$ 0.45 million over 12 weeks from 20 boats

NE

Not available for large pelagics separately

In 2000:

finfish US$ 1.065 million
lobster US$ 0.206 million
conch US$ 0.173 million

STL

Not available

Annual landings of pelagics x average price.Table to be done

STV

Not available

Believed to have been done in unidentified report

SUR

Not available

Estimates of potential value are needed

TRI



TR

Available for:
Artisanal fleet 1995-1999
Commercial fleet 1989

US$ 0.250 million for artisanal 1999
US$ 0.281 million for local longliners
US$ 0.745 million for foreign longlinersa

TO

Not available

1998 figure for entire fishery is US$ 2.520 million; large pelagic proportion to be determined

CARICOM
TOTAL

Available from Table 2 as average annual landings for 1990-199

Average annual landings of 15 800 tonnes. Average estimated landed value of about US$ 4.50/kg gives overall value of US$ 71.1 million 9

a Lum Young and Maharaj (1991).

Numbers of charter vessels

The numbers of charter vessels vary considerably from country to country (Table 37). However, in general, this component of the fishing fleet is not well documented, and details regarding the numbers of vessels engaging in various types of sport fishing are seldom available.

Assessment of the numbers is complicated by the fact that many owners of private recreational vessels appear to offer them for charter from time to time as a means of offsetting the cost of owning and operating the vessel for recreation.

Numbers of private local vessels

The numbers of private, local sport fishing vessels and their activities appear to be even less well known in most countries that those of charter boats (Table 38). The study for northwestern Trinidad indicates that sport fishing vessels take 10 percent of the total catch there, indicating the potential importance of this vessel category.

Visiting sport fishing vessels

Owing to its proximity to the United States, the Bahamas is clearly the country with the greatest potential to benefit from visiting sport fishing vessels. In the eastern Caribbean islands, there appears to be some inter-island interaction among these vessels (Table 39). Presumably this would be greater if the tournament schedule were coordinated among the islands.

TABLE 37

Numbers of charter vessels

Country

Number

Explanation

ANT

Max. 10

5 >11 m. Based at Falmouth, Jolly Harbour, one at Halcyon owned by hotel

BARa

8

These are full-time charters based mainly in Careenage

BHA


This information is not available from fisheriesTourism does not have specific records, but brochures list establishments. Numbers of boats per enterprise unknown.b Bone-fish fishing is main sport fishing activity

BZE


This information needs to be compiled. Port Authority registers all small vessels but does not distinguish between types. Three charter companies are listed in yellow pages of telephone directories, but emphasis is on bone-fish fishing. Belize Tourism Industry Association does not have information on sport fishing

DMI

1

Hotel-operated, based at Castaways

GRN

4

Two are very active; others are part-time charter, part-time personal use

GUY

0


JAM


Charter boats are known to be operating from hotels, marinas, etc. along north coast and at Negril.c However, there do not appear to be any available data on their numbers, locations and activities. Yellow pages do not show any entries under fishing or related headings.Tourism Product Development Company is reportedly certifying charter boats for tourism industry

STK




SK

3



NE

10


STL

20–30

Cabin cruisers

STV

4

Mainland has pirogue (US$ 400/day) and 55-ft. full-time charter boat (US$ 1 200/day). One part-time in Mustique and another on mainland. Fisheries Division has no information on these

SUR

0


TRId




TR

7–8

Cabin cruisers and 1-2 pirogues, privately owned. Trade and Industry Development Company had them on website up to two years ago, but seems to have de-emphasized recreational fishing. Trinidad and Tobago is not being promoted as recreational fishing destination


TO

4–5

Cabin cruisers

a Antia (2000).
b The Official Guide to Boating and Fishing in the Bahamas, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.
c Mahon (1995).
d Mike and Cowx (1996).

TABLE 38

Numbers of private local vessels

Country

Number of vessels and explanation

ANT

About 30

BAR

See figure below

BHA

These are not identified in registry and only commercial vessels must get licence

BZE

Needs to be compiled. See table above

DMI

Two sport fishing boats

GRN

About 15 in Grenada and 1 or 2 in Carriacou

GUY

None for pelagic fishing

JAM

Needs to be compiled. Local angler and game-fishing associations may have this information.
Licensing and Registration System (LRS) has some

STK



SK

5-6


NE

8

STL

Not known

STV

Fisheries Division had no information on this. STV Game Fishing Association estimated 10.
Fisheries Division will soon begin licensing all fishers and thus will have numbers for recreational vessels

SUR

None for pelagic fishing

TRI



TR

About 600 at several locations, of which about 400 are targeting coastal and offshore large pelagicsa


TO

Not available

a Mike and Cowx (1996).

TABLE 39

Number of vessels that visit each year

Country

Number of vessels and explanation

ANT

About 25–30 visit for tournament: Barbados 2, Guadeloupe 7–12, Martinique 1–2, Montserrat 1–2, Saint-Barthelemy 1, Saint Lucia 1–2, Saint Maarten 3–6, Saint Thomas 2, Tortola 1

BAR

Up to 7 boats for international tournament, but sometimes none (Fisheries Division has record of permissions)

BHA

Number of sport fishing permits issued each year is in Fishery Department reports. However, are integral to permit for cruising in Bahamas, so do not indicate number of boats actually engaging in fishing

BZE

Information needs to be compiled

DMI

NA

GRN

More than 20 in total: Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, Trinidad (6–7), Venezuela; Barbados not so much lately

GUY

NA

JAM

Needs to be compiled

STK



SK

About 20 from Antigua, Saint Maarten and US Virgin Islands


NE

37 registered for tournament

STL

Unknown

STV

About 6–7 visit for main tournament. Same number fish without permission

SUR

NA

TRI



TR

In non-tournament periods, about 3 from USA or Venezuela. Recent Tobago tournament clashed with that of Barbados and no outside boats came. Previously about 15. Timing of tournament is constrained by Angostura sailing week and hotel room availability


TO


FIGURE 20
Breakdown of tournament anglers and boats in Barbados

Source: Antia (2000)

Sport fishing tournaments

There are organized tournaments in most countries (Table 40). These do not appear to be coordinated in a schedule that would allow vessels from outside the region to visit for a period covering several tournaments, or charter operators to offer a tournament package that could be marketed regionally.

TABLE 40

Names and timing of tournaments for large pelagics

Country

Name of tournament

Timing

Explanation

ANT

Antigua/Barbuda Sport Fishing Club Annual Tournament

June, Whitsunday weekend (last six years). Has run for 35 years

A few other informal ones

BARa




BHA

Bahamas Billfish Championshipb


Internationally known tournament

BZE

There are two main tournaments; information needs to be compiled

September

Main focus probably on bone-fish fishing

DMI

Castaways Hotel


Three tournaments held irregularly, not annually

GRN

Spice Island Billfish Tournament

Started in 1964 (skipped some years); 32nd was in 2001

Uses 20, 30, 50-lb lines, 25–35 boats (average 30). Of these, only 7–8 are Grenadian; rest are visitors


Yacht Club Fun Day Tournament

July


GUY

NA



JAM

Port Antonio International Marlin Tournament

November

Internationally known tournament, organized by Sir Henry Morgan Angling Association, Ltd. The 37th was held in 2001


About four other billfish tournaments around islandc


Organized by various local associations

STK





SK

One-day Saint Kitts Oceanfest

November

Tourism promotion


NE

Annual game fishing tournament

October

Since 1993

STL

One regular large international tournament



STVd

International

May



Two mini-tournaments after carnival and during Fishermen's Week


Sport fishers want to install FADs; Grenadian longliners complain of encroachment

SUR

NA



TRI





TR

Rotary Club (sponsor)

January

Marlin, sailfish, dolphin, wahoo (organized by Game Fishing Association of TRI)



Royal Bank Wahoo Tournament (sponsor)

March

Wahoo (organized by Game Fishing Association of TRI)



Teachers Scotch Whisky Kingfish Tournament

June

Organized by Game Fishing Association of TRI



Scotiabank (or) Scotiabank/Mutual Life Funfish Tournaments

November



TO

Carib International Game Fishing Tournament

April

Tobago tournament has fuelling problems; jetty is old



Kids

July


a Antia (2000).
b bbc@albehrendt.com, fax 954-925-1033, 499 E. Sheridan St. Suite 300, Dania, FL 33004.
c Harvey (1989).
d Information on tournaments from Loron Thomas, president of the Game Fishing Association.

Sport fishing associations

There are nine sport fishing associations in CARICOM (Table 41). These could provide an opportunity for coordinated activity at the local and regional level. Activities could include data gathering, valuation of sport fisheries, tagging and sport fishing tourism development.

TABLE 41

Sport fishing associations

Country

ANT

Antigua/Barbuda Sport Fishing Club

BAR

Barbados Game Fishing Association

BHA

Bahamas Billfish Foundation

BZE

None specific to pelagics

DMI

None

GRN

Spice Island Billfish Tournament Committee

GUY

None

JAM

Sir Henry Morgan Angling Association, Ltd

STK



SK

None


NE

Nevis Yacht Club

STL

Saint Lucia Game Fish Association (President Frances Compton)

STV

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Game Fishing Association

SUR

None

TRI



TR

Trinidad and Tobago Game Fishing Association (one director is also a director of International Game Fishing Association) and Billfish Foundation


TO

None

TABLE 42

Valuation of sport fisheries and references

Country

Valuation and reference

ANT

None. Committee estimates that EC$ 100 000 is needed to hold tournament. Entry fees US$ 70 per person. Marina waives dock fees. Private sector awards prizes

BAR

On average, crew member earns approximately BDS$ 20 000 or less per year before taxes. Captains earn approximately BDS$ 27 000, while first mates earn BDS$ 17 000. When asked what proportion of their annual income came from working on charter boat, 55.6% said all, 22.2% said half, while other 22.2% indicated more than half. Each crew member makes average of 280 sport fishing trips per yeara

BHA

None

BZE

Information needs to be compiled

DMI

NA

GRN

Committee estimates that tournament generates about EC$ 400 000 per year. Prizes total EC$ 67 000 (blue marlin 30 000, white marlin 20 000, sailfish 10 000). Registration: 150 anglers x EC$ 150 each = EC$ 22 500

GUY

NA

JAM

Information needs to be compiled. Harvey estimates expenditure per fish caught at about US$ 2 900 or US$ 25/lb. In contrast, market value of fish sold for local consumption would be US$ 1/lb, or about US$ 100–120 per fishb

STK



SK

None


NE

None

STL

None

STV

None. Loron Thomas sees potential for general game fishing, rather than billfish specifically

SUR

NA

TRI



TR

None. 35-ft Bertram charters at US$ 350/half day and US$ 550/day


TO

None

a Antia (2000). Efforts to quantify the contribution of charter boats to the Barbadian economy were frustrated by charter operators’ unwillingness to disclose information on their income, expenditures or financial status. Very rough estimates suggest gross revenue per boat of about $BDS 175 000 per year, mainly from half-day fishing trips. However, the total number and type of trips made per year differ from one operator to the next, as does the revenue generated from the sale of recreational catches or genuine commercial fishing.

b Mahon (1995).

Valuation of sport fisheries

There are few comprehensive valuations of sport fishing for CARICOM countries (Table 42). The lack of this information remains a serious impediment to development planning for large pelagic fisheries. The primary economic question is whether the resources are more valuable for sport fishing or small-scale commercial fishing. The primary social question pertains to equity: who derives the benefits and who is negatively affected if one type of fishing is given preference over another.

A rough valuation for charter vessels can be made based on a total of about 85 charter boats in CARICOM countries. If each boat makes three trips a week at US$ 500 per trip, the average annual gross revenue per boat would be US$ 78 000, and the total annual revenue for all boats would be US$ 6.6 million. This is about 9 percent of the value of commercial fisheries. This does not include earnings from the sale of fish caught. Earnings from tournaments and the value of private vessels must also be added to the value of charter-boat fisheries.

Conclusions

By far the majority of vessels that target large pelagics in CARICOM countries are small, open and outboard powered. Vessels, even larger ones, are multipurpose and pursue multispecies fisheries. Such fleets - large numbers of small vessels - present substantial management problems regarding communication with fishers and the monitoring of their activities. Thus it will be difficult to enforce ICCAT regulations and quotas with any certainty.

In order to be able to present a comprehensive picture of the fleets in CARICOM countries, there is a need for a vessel classification scheme that works for CARICOM or, preferably, the Caribbean. This will require a small, focused effort or project. The scheme should be simple and not break small-scale vessels into too many categories. Characteristics such as length, decked or not, propulsion and gear might be adequate. The project could be based on LRS data from CFRAMP countries.

The scheme should include commercial and recreational vessels. Information on the latter is lacking in most countries. These data are needed if management schemes that address the needs of both are to be based on information about the relative economic contributions of these vessels.

The majority of fishing for large pelagics by CARICOM countries remains within tens of kilometres of the port. Countries are not at present utilizing their EEZs extensively, owing to a lack of vessels with appropriate capability.

Charter-boat fishing does not appear to be promoted by the tourism authorities in many countries. Charter boat operators in Antigua and Trinidad felt that their sport fishing was as good as in some of the game fish “hot spots”, but was not promoted.

Ports in CARICOM countries are also multipurpose. As for vessels, a classification scheme is needed for landing sites in these countries. This would also require a small, focused project. Much of the data are already available, so an inventory of landing sites and their characteristics as the basis for classification is feasible.

Systematic estimates of the value of the fishery are not available. There is a need for such estimates of value (not necessarily complicated), relative to national levels and also compiled regionally. There is also a lack of information on the value of recreational fishing.

Consistent categorizations and reporting formats among CARICOM countries need to be pursued for vessels, landing sites and many other types of information, so that data can be more easily compiled at the regional level. Consistent information across these countries is needed if management and development are to occur on a regional basis. The information will serve to quantify the importance of fisheries to CARICOM countries themselves, in order to justify expenditure for regional initiatives and to prepare regional proposals for donors, which will be a main function of CRFM.

Accurate and detailed data on fleets and fishing practices are also important inputs to fishery management planning. This type of information will help countries take part in collaborative management of shared large pelagics. Lack of this information may be an impediment to obtaining allocated shares of resources.

The issue of foreign flagging will continue to present problems. It is perceived internationally by states and management organizations as uncontrolled fishing by a flag state. The countries, individually or collectively, should consider the IPOA-IUU as a framework for addressing IUU fishing both within the region and in distant waters.

Because of multipurpose vessels and the seasonality of fishing, it is difficult to assign levels of employment to any one harvest group. A standardized way to address the question of employment remains elusive. In terms of actual jobs, the number of full-time equivalent positions would be an indicator of employment. This could be prorated among harvest groups according to landings. While there are differences in employment levels among the various vessel types pursuing the different fisheries, it would at least allow a reasonably accurate, standard approach to estimating and presenting employment in the industry. The question of how many households are impacted by this employment, owing to part-time fishing, could be a separate category of information.

The region is dependent on external sources of larger vessels. Here and in other areas of supply, there are opportunities to develop industries that serve the local and regional needs of CARICOM fisheries (boats, rope, gear, etc.). However, these must be competitive in price and quality, with goods available on the global market. There may be potential for developing an intraregional bait industry and trade in order to provide bait for longliners.

Subsidies or incentives are common among CARICOM countries, and there is a need to look more closely at the impact of subsidies to determine if they are having the intended effects on industry development and/or food security or are just providing a free ride (industry-wide, not only pelagics).

Availability of vessel and crew insurance is an issue for development in CARICOM countries. Small vessels are difficult to insure. Most countries have national insurance schemes that are available to fishers, even as self-employed individuals. However, there appears to be a need to promote these schemes to them. This will bring fishers more into the social mainstream and, in the longer term, elevate the profile of the industry as one that provides a secure employment option.

Credit for investment in the fishing industry appears to be available to larger-scale entrepreneurs. Several countries cite credit schemes for small-scale fishers that failed due to lack of repayment. This may have left the impression that small-scale fishers are high loan risks. However, there has been little innovation regarding repayment schemes and schedules geared to small-scale fishers (McConney, 2000).

There is the potential for exchanges among countries to provide training and apprenticeship opportunities for fishers. In particular, there is a need for training in assuring the quality of fish if large pelagics are to achieve their potential economic impact through export.

The role of large pelagic fishing in the economy of certain rural communities and individual fishers must be better documented. Thus far, we have mainly general statements as to whether a community or group of fishers is very dependent on fishing, but no quantification of the extent of dependency relative to other sectors and of the community indicators that would be useful in assessing independence.

In summary, it is notable that much of the information provided on large pelagics is qualitative, based on the expert judgement of national fisheries staff. While this information is undoubtedly accurate and may be adequate for many management decisions, it is not likely to be persuasive in justifying the value of the industry locally, regionally or internationally. As countries seek to take part in management of shared resources through international or regional organizations, higher standards of data management, providing information in more consistent formats, are likely to be required.

At the same time, for small countries, the constraints on the acquisition and provision of data regarding small-scale fisheries must be recognized. Countries should be aware of current trends in fisheries assessment and management towards simpler, more indicator- or trend-based approaches (e.g. Kesteven, 1999; Garcia and Staples, 2000) and towards reference directions rather than quantitative targets (Berkes et al., 2001). They should explore these approaches - more compatible with small-island developing states - as they participate in international management.


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