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  1. Country brief
  2. General geographic and economic indicators
  3. FAO Fisheries statistics

The Profile (2007)

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    Part I of the Fishery and Aquaculture Country Profile is compiled using the most up-to-date information available from the FAO Country briefs and Statistics programmes at the time of publication. The Country Brief and the FAO Fisheries Statistics provided in Part I may, however, have been prepared at different times, which would explain any inconsistencies.

    Country briefUpdated 12-2016

    Antigua and Barbuda form a twin island state. The two islands have a total area of 281 km2. Antigua and Barbuda have a 12 mile territorial sea and 3 568 km2 of continental shelf.

    Fisheries target mainly marine species and are characterized by their small-scale and commercial nature. There is currently no commercial exploitation of inland fisheries resources, however, there is a traditional recreational or subsistence harvest of some freshwater and estuarine species.

    In 2011 a total of 1849 people were reported to engage in fishery and aquaculture sector, but in fact this was nearly all fishing activity. Four percent of fishers were women and the remaining 96% men. The fishing fleet in 2014 was composed of 338 motorized vessels of less than 18 meters in length (of which 237 were undecked and of less than 12 meters).

    Capture production has been quite stable around 3 000 tonnes between 2005 and 2014 with the year 2012 showing an outstanding production of 5 700 tonnes due to three main reasons: i) greater catches of reef fish (e.g. groupers and snappers); ii) greatly increased harvest of queen conch as fishing effort of the dive fishery shifted from the Caribbean spiny lobster to the queen conch as demand for lobster contracted due to reduced tourism; and iii) use of more Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) for pelagic species. Capture production involves mainly small fishing units targeting demersal or reef-based resources mainly by lines, trap nets, and gillnets. Demersals or reef species account for at least 85 percent of capture production by weight. Trap fishing is the most common method of fishing, followed by hand lining and gill netting. The fish is landed at different sites, which range from rural beaches (with limited or no infrastructure) to fisheries complexes (with potable water, ice-making and chill storage facilities). The main species targeted are the Caribbean spiny lobster, conch, groupers, grunts and snappers.

    Over several decades there have been a number of failed attempts to conduct aquaculture on a range of products on Antigua. These have all been land-based operations and most have failed due to the prohibitively high operational costs and limited freshwater supply as well as limited success in marketing such species as tilapia and catfish locally. However, seaweeds (Euchuma sp. and Gracilaria sp.) farming has achieved some success in Antigua but is still very limited.

    In 2015, total exports of fish and fishery products amounted to USD 0.02 million and imports to USD 6.8 million. The direct contribution of the sector to the GDP was estimated at 9.7 million USD in 2013 and accounted 47% of the agricultural GDP. The contribution of the sector to the combined national GDP was about 0.8%. Per capita consumption was estimated at 55.1 kg in 2013.

    Antigua and Barbuda have signed and is party to a number of conventions which include Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling, however the country have not ratified these as yet. The country has not ratified the 1993 FAO Compliance Agreement, the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement and the 2009 FAO Port State Measures Agreement.
    General geographic and economic indicators

    Table 1 - General Geographic and Economic Data - Antigua and Barbuda

    Shelf area 3 886 km2 Sea around us: http://www.seaaroundus.org/
    Length of continental coastline 153 km

    World by Map:


    Fisheries GVA (2012) 0,92% National GDP

    CRFM: Statistics and Information Report 2012

    Key statistics

    Country area440km2FAOSTAT. Official data, 2013
    Land area440km2FAOSTAT. Official data, 2013
    Inland water area-km2Computed. Calculated, 2013
    Population - Est. & Proj.0.096millionsFAOSTAT. Official data, 2018
    Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) area111 560km2VLIZ
    GDP (current US$)1 460millionsWorld Bank. 2016
    GDP per capita (current US$)14 462US$World Bank. 2016
    Agriculture, value added1.89% of GDPWorld Bank. 2016

    Source: FAO Country Profile

    FAO Fisheries statisticsTable 2 in this section is based on statistics prepared by the Statistics and Information Branch of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department and disseminated in 2016. The charts are based on the same source but these are automatically updated every year with the most recent disseminated statistics.

    Table 2 – Fisheries statistics – Antigua and Barbuda

          1980 1990 2000 2010 2012 2013 2014
    EMPLOYMENT (thousands) 1.45 0.64 0.89 1.53 1.63 1.80 1.85
      Aquaculture 0.03
      Capture 1.45 0.64 0.89 1.50 1.63 1.80 1.85
        Marine 1.45 0.64 0.89 1.50 1.63 1.80 1.85
    FLEET(thousands vessels) 0.85 0.78 0.80
    Source: FAO Fishery and Aquaculture Statistics
    1) Due to roundings total may not sum up

    Please note: Fishery statistical data here presented exclude the production for marine mammals, crocodiles, corals, sponges, pearls, mother-of-pearl and aquatic plants.


    Updated 2007The Profile

    This country profile provides statistics and indicators produced through FAO’s Statistics programmes, supplemented with information derived from national and other sources and valid at the time of compilation.

    Full text of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Country Profile available at /fishery/docs/DOCUMENT/fcp/en/FI_CP_AG.pdf

    Additional information

    Meetings & News archive


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