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Aquaculture continues to grow in economic importance. The main reason for this is the quantifiable contribution aquaculture is making in many countries to fill the growing gap between supply and demand for fisheries products. This gap continues to widen because of increasing human populations and the static growth rates of capture fisheries brought about by declines in stocks and the increasing cost of obtaining fish through conventional methods. Although this gap can (and in some cases is already) being met by alternatives, such as inexpensive poultry and white meats, aquaculture particularly provides consumers with a choice of fresh products.

Aquaculture is also evident in earning foreign exchange for many countries through the export of high-value products. It also creates employment, particularly in economically depressed coastal and remote regions, and contributes Co the household economy of rural farmers.

This tenth regional survey prepared by the Aquaculture Development and Coordination Programme (ADCP) covers the existing aquaculture sector in the countries of the Caribbean region, namely Anguila, Antigua-Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, St. Christopher and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, US Virgin Islands, and British Virgin Islands.

This present survey is not exhaustive. It has been prepared by Philippe Ferlin and Pedro Noriega-Curtis in a relatively brief desk study. They have been helped, however, by the many national aquaculture coordinators and administrators who undertook similar national reviews as part of preparatory planning studies organized by the Support for Aquaculture Activities in Latin America and the Caribbean project (AQUILA). This group gathered for a technical meeting on Aquaculture Planning in Caracas, Venezuela, in May 1989. This ADCP review was therefore delayed until this large body of information was assembled, particularly as, for the most part, it had been collected on the sectoral framework prepared by ADCP. The contributions of these individuals through the region are therefore gratefully acknowledged.

For some countries of this newly active aquaculture region detailed information is still difficult to obtain. The ADCP apologizes for any omissions and errors which may exist in the survey, and hopes that these can be corrected in an up-dated survey. New information and notification of changes and errors should be indicated to ADCP in the Fisheries Department, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome. The detailed table of contents illustrates the range of information which, hopefully, will be assembled in due course for all regions.

The survey is directed toward administrators, executives, and managers who require broad overviews, rather than for scientists and technologists who require detailed information about species and practices. It is the tenth and last of a series of regional surveys. To this end, the ADCP hopes that the reader will find the information described here useful.

Colin E. Nash
Craig B. Kensler

Rome, 1989

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