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The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers and boundaries. Dashed lines on maps represent approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement.

Part I Overview and main indicators

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

Part II Narrative (2018)

  1. Production sector
    • Marine sub-sector
      • Catch profile
      • Landing sites
      • Fishing practices/systems
      • Main resources
      • Management applied to main fisheries
      • Fishing communities
    • Inland sub-sector
    • Aquaculture sub-sector
    • Recreational sub-sector
  2. Post-harvest sector
    • Fish utilization
    • Fish markets
  3. Socio-economic contribution of the fishery sector
    • Role of fisheries in the national economy
    • Trade
    • Food security
    • Employment
    • Rural development
  4. Trends, issues and development
    • Constraints and opportunities
    • Government and non-government sector policies and development strategies
    • Research, education and training
      • Research
      • Education and training
    • Foreign aid
  5. Institutional framework
  6. Legal framework
    • Regional and international legal framework
  7. Annexes
  8. References

Additional information

  1. FAO Thematic data bases
  2. Publications
  3. Meetings & News archive

Part I Overview and main indicators

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 briefPrepared: June, 2019.

Dominica is a Caribbean island of volcanic mountains located in the Caribbean Sea. It has a total area of 751 km2 and a coastline of 148 km. Dominica claims a territorial sea of 12 nautical miles and has an Exclusive Economic Zone of 200 nautical miles.

The fishing fleet estimated in 2017 consisted of 434 undecked multipurpose vessels, mostly motorized boats of less than 12 m. In 2017, 912 people, of which 17 were women, were reported to be engaged in fishing.

Dominica supported a population of approximately 74 000 in 2017. Fish landing fluctuated in the last ten years from about 500 tonnes in 2013 to more than 1 000 tonnes in 2014, with almost 800 tonnes reported in 2017. They are sold fresh to local consumers. There is no facility for processing and storage, resulting in wastage when the supply of pelagic fish exceeds local demand.

Presently there are an estimated 11 hectares of aquaculture operations in Dominica, with estimated 1 tonnes of freshwater prawns and 5 tonnes of tilapia annual production in recent years.

Exports of fish and fishery products are rather limited, estimated at USD 7 000 in 2016. Fishery resources are underutilized as a source of domestic nutrition and food security, employment generation and foreign currency earnings. The fisheries sub-sector provides direct jobs to 1 195 people, mainly in marine coastal fishing, with 14 women reported in part time marine coastal fishing in 2015, with a slight reduction to 900 people in 2017. Since the crash of Dominican banana production, many farmers have become dependent on fishing to make a living. Additionally, there is greater demand for fish in the country, which is directly correlated to an increase in the number of tourists visiting Dominica.

In 2017, imports of fish and fishery products were estimated at USD 1.6 million. Per capita fish consumption is significant, amounting to 27.1 kg in 2017.
 
General geographic and economic indicators

    Source
Shelf area 356 km2

Sea Around Us

http://www.seaaroundus.org/

Length of continental coastline 148 km

World by Map:

http://world.bymap.org/Coastlines.html

Fisheries GVA (2011) 0.42% National GDP

Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM): Statistics and Information Report 2012

Title: Table 1 - General Geographic and Economic Data - Dominica*Value converted by FAO as per UN currency exchange rate

Key statistics

Source
Country area750km2FAOSTAT. Official data, 2013
Land area750km2FAOSTAT. Official data, 2013
Inland water area0km2Computed. Calculated, 2013
Population - Est. & Proj.0.068millionsFAOSTAT. Official data, 2018
Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) area28 653km2VLIZ
GDP (current US$)563millionsWorld Bank. 2017
GDP per capita (current US$)7 610US$World Bank. 2017
Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value added15.68% of GDPWorld Bank. 2017

Source: FAO Country Profile

FAO Fisheries statisticsTable 2 in this section is based on statistics prepared by the FAO Fishery Information, Data and Statistics Unit and disseminated in 2018. The charts are based on the same source but these are automatically updated every year with the most recent statistics.



      1980 1990 2000 2010 2015 2016 2017
EMPLOYMENT (thousands) 1.50 2.50 2.24 1.54 1.20 1.05 0.91
  Aquaculture              
  Capture   1.50 2.50 2.24 1.54 1.20 1.05 0.91
    Inland
    Marine 1.50 2.50 2.24 1.54 1.20 1.05 0.91
                   
FLEET(thousands boats) 0.34 0.42 0.43 0.43 0.43
                   
Source: FAO Fishery and Aquaculture Statistics
1) Due to roundings total may not sum up
Title: Table 2 — FAO fisheries statistics - Dominica



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

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Updated 2018Part II Narrative

Part II of the Fishery and Aquaculture Country Profile provides supplementary information that is based on national and other sources and that is valid at the time of compilation (see update year above). References to these sources are provided as far as possible.

Production sectorDominica is a Caribbean island of volcanic mountains located in the Caribbean Sea. It has a total area of 751 km2 and a coastline of 148 km. Dominica claims a territorial sea of 12 nautical miles and has an Exclusive Economic Zone of 200 nautical miles. The fishing fleet reported to FAO in 2012 consisted of 419 multipurpose vessels, mostly motorized vessels of less than 12 metres.

Fish landings are about stable at 700-800 tonnes over the past decade. Additionally, there is greater demand for fish in the country, which is directly correlated to an increase in the number of tourists visiting Dominica.
Dominica is subject to hurricanes from July to October. This can have a grave impact on the tourism infrastructure and natural resources, thus reducing local demand for fisheries production by the tourism industry.
Hurricane Maria, a category 5 hurricane, caused significant damages and losses to the fisheries sector in Dominica in 2017. Approximately 128 vessels and 126 engines have suffered damages or are lost. Fisheries cooperatives have lost their ice-making machines, fuel pumps and supplies for market vendors. Fishers have lost a large percentage of their fishing gears. Fisheries Division in Roseau has lost its roof and all furniture and office equipment. Most of the destruction took place on the East coast whereas the West coast was less affected. The total costs for repair and replacement of vessels and engines is estimated at US$ 1.68 million. Other losses include fishing gear and vendor equipment which were estimated at US$ 0.32 million. Market vendors are mostly women and many have lost their basic tools such as cutting boards, coolers, knifes, etc. Infrastructural damages to the sector (both the government fisheries buildings as well as the fisheries cooperatives) are estimated to be US$ 0.42 million. This includes damages to roofs, fuel pumps, ice-machine rooms, freezer storages and other supporting infrastructure

Marine sub-sectorCatch profileDominica’s fishing industry can be described as artisanal and small scale, and consists of capture fishery and aquaculture. Most of the fish caught is used for subsistence or sold domestically.

Major fish species caught are tuna (mainly yellowfin), dolphinfish (mahi mahi), blue marlin, ballyhoo (Hemiramphis brasiliensis) and mackerels. Unlike other Caribbean countries, Dominica does not produce Queen conch or lobster.

Landing sitesMost of the major landing sites are located on the west coast of Dominica due to the nature of its beach front, since the east coast is more rugged and not very conducive for use as landing sites. There are 21 landing sites in Dominica, the most important landing sites on the island are Marigot, followed by Portsmouth, Dublanc and Scott’s Head.

Fishing practices/systemsThere has been a marked transition from the traditional dugout canoes to the more advanced keelboats and most recently, to the fibre reinforced plastic vessels. The 2011 census indicated that there were on average a total of 650 fishing vessels with about 440 of these vessels registered with the Fisheries Division.

The fishing fleet consists of 3 major boat types - traditional dug- out canoes (20%), open wooden boats (keel boats – 52%) and fiberglass reinforced plastic vessels (28%). The majority of fishermen use outboard engines for propulsion. In terms of fishing gear, the majority of fishers use hook and line (70%), mostly surface drop line and trolling lines anchored around Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs).

Main resourcesThe status of the coastal fisheries resources is unknown, while yellowfin is fully exploited as recorded by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).

Management applied to main fisheriesThough the Fisheries Act gives a strong mandate for fisheries management, the present management system is insubstantial. The management systems which are referenced in this legislation are:Closed/open seasons and size restrictions;Establishment of marine reserves to protect species;Local and foreign fishing licences;Gear size/type restrictions;Prohibition of certain harmful fishing practices.

Management objectivesThe management objectives of the marine resources is for the benefit of the people of Dominica, including sustainable use and development of fisheries and other living coastal and offshore resources. Management is based on the recognition that the marine resources are significant to national development, the sustenance of livelihoods, the generation of employment and food and nutrition security.

Management measures and institutional arrangementsPractically no management measures are applied at present.

Fishing communitiesFishing provides food security and livelihood to many coastal communities around Dominica and the coastal ecosystem provides ecosystem services to the coastal tourism sector.

Inland sub-sectorThere are no inland fisheries in Dominica.

Aquaculture sub-sectorPresently there are an estimated 11 hectares of aquaculture operations in Dominica, with estimated 1 tonnes of freshwater prawns and 5 tonnes of tilapia annual production in recent years.

Recreational sub-sectorA recreational sub-sector exists in the country, but less important than in other Caribbean countries, due to the specifics of Dominica’s coastline and fisheries resources.

Post-harvest sectorFish utilizationAll the fish caught is sold fresh to local consumers. There is no facility for processing and storage, resulting in wastage when the supply of pelagic fish exceeds local demand.

Fish marketsMost fish landed in Dominica is sold directly to the public at the landing sites. Since 1997, following the completion of the Roseau Fisheries Complex (built with the assistance of the Japanese Government), fishers have been selling their catch directly to the Complex, particularly in times of heavy glut on the market. The Fisheries Complex has hit by the hurricane Maria in 2017. There are approximately 30 market vendors, mainly women, in Dominica.

Socio-economic contribution of the fishery sectorRole of fisheries in the national economyFisheries does not play an important role in national economy, accounting for only 0.5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The role of fisheries could be greater, if some incentives were provided by the government.

TradeExports of fish and fishery products are rather limited, less than US$ 50 000. But imports play an important role for food security. About two thirds of the consumption is in fact coming from imports. Imports show an increasing trend over the years, exceeding 1 000 tonnes in product weight. The products imported by Dominica vary from year to year, but canned fish is dominating the import market, with sardines and mackerel as the main products. Dried salted cod and cured herring from Canada also are significant.

Food securityThe fisheries sector provides food security to a large number of the population and provides livelihood not only to fishers but also to those in associated with the industry (e.g. boat builders, mechanics) as well as market vendors who are mostly women.

EmploymentThe fisheries sub-sector provides direct jobs to 1 195 people in 2015, reduced to about 900 in 2017, mainly in marine coastal fishing. Since the crash of Dominican banana production, many farmers have become dependent on fishing to make a living. Overall the fisheries sector employs approximately 2 200 people.

Rural developmentFishing is an economic alternative to many part-time agriculturists. Fisheries therefore support the livelihoods of agricultural households and communities and thus stabilize the economic situation of these communities. In addition, many elder community members receive free fish from fishers necessary for the food security of those in need.

Trends, issues and developmentConstraints and opportunitiesOn 18 September 2017, Hurricane Maria hit Dominica. Dominica is a nation of fishers, yet nearly every fishing boat was damaged or destroyed in the storm. Without working boats, the country loses its main source of food security. As always after this type of disasters, the international donor community put in place recovery work.

Inshore marine habitats are threatened by land-based sources of pollution and sedimentation, as well as possible over-exploitation of some coastal resources.

Government and non-government sector policies and development strategiesThere are no specific policies by the government to promote fisheries.

Research, education and trainingResearchNo research institutes dealing with fisheries exist in the country. The status of the stocks is widely unknown.

Education and trainingThe Fisheries Division maintains a service for Training of fishers and technical support to fisheries groups and cooperatives.

Foreign aidSupport generated by FAO includes US$ 100 000 in Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities (SFERA) that will enable part of the fisherfolk population to resume their fishery activities and guarantee the conservation and storage of the fish capture through distribution of fishing gears, cooling equipment (i.e. refrigerators and ice making machines) as well as material to repair damaged boats and US$ 200 000 from the Government of Brazil.

Institutional frameworkThe Fisheries Division is an arm of the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica (currently under the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries). This department is tasked with the management of the marine resources for the benefit of the people of Dominica, including sustainable use and development of fisheries and other living coastal and offshore resources. Management is based on the recognition that the marine resources are significant to national development, the sustenance of livelihoods, the generation of employment and food and nutrition security. The Chief Fisheries Officer heads the department, with the Senior Fisheries Officer second in command. There are two Fisheries Officers below the Senior Fisheries Officer who, in turn, oversee the four Fisheries Liaison Officers.

The Mission Statement of the Fisheries Division reads: To create an enabling environment for employment, enhance food security, reduce poverty and contribute to economic diversification in Dominica.”The Vision Statement reads:“To be recognized as an efficiently managed government agency by fishermen, related institutions and the public at large, delivering high quality support, research, development and regulatory services to the fisheries sector.”Functions of the Fisheries Division are based on the sub divisions and include:Research and developmentCompilation, collection and reporting of fisheries information (fish catch and effort, registration, research)Exploratory fishing for new and underexploited speciesIntroduction of new and enhanced fishing gearMarine environmental impact assessments e. reef monitoringDevelopment of fishing communitiesMaintaining fisheries exploitation at sustainable levelsExtension and TrainingRegistration of fishers and fishing boatsTraining of fishers and technical support to fisheries groups and cooperativesPromoting and fostering the development of individual fishers and fisheries groupsEducation and Public AwarenessDevelopment and publishing of literature on fisheries and marine-related matters Public awareness programs promoting fisheries, fish as food and environmental awareness in general

Legal frameworkThe Fisheries Act of 1987 is the main legal instrument of the Fisheries Division, which makes provision for the promotion and regulation of fishing in the fishery waters of Dominica and for matters incidental thereto and connected therewith.

Regional and international legal frameworkThe country is signatory to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The country has not yet ratified the 1993 FAO Compliance Agreement, the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement and 2009 FAO Port State Measures Agreement. Dominica is a member of the Caribbean Fisheries Regulation Mechanism (CRFM). Dominica is member of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and the Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission (WECAFC).

AnnexesAcronyms

CRFM Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism
FADs Fish Aggregation Devices
FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
GDP Gross Domestic Product
ICCAT International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas
IWC International Whaling Commission
km kilometer
SFERA Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities (SFERA)
UN United Nations
US$ United States of America Dollar
WECAFC Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission


References

Edward M.J. (2014) CC4FISH inception report, Dominica.
Commonwealth of Dominica (2017) Post-Disaster Needs Assessment / Hurricane Maria, September 18, 2017http://agriculture.gov.dm/division/fisheries-division .

Additional information

Meetings & News archive

 

 
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