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Part I Statistics and main indicators

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

The Profile (2005)

    Additional information

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

    Part I Statistics 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 briefUpdated 12-2016

    In Jamaica, with an area of 10 990 km2, a coastline of 1 022 km and a population of 2 784 000 (2013), fisheries have always played an important role for economic and development.

    Jamaica has one of the highest levels of fish consumption per caput in the Americas (27.1 kg/year in 2013) and its supply has significantly depended on imports, which accounted for about 68 percent of all fishery products consumed domestically (2013). In 2014, imports of fish and fishery products were valued at USD 103.2 million and exports at USD 12.6 million.

    Jamaican fisheries contribute to mainly small-scale food security, as well as to the employment of the coastal communities where fishing-related activities are often the only or the most important source of foods and livelihoods for about 40 000 persons. In 2015, 23 786 fishers were reported of which around 6 percent were female. Only 99 people were reported as engaged in aquaculture (also with about 6% of the workforce composed by women).

    The total number of fishing vessels reported by Jamaica in 2014 was 6 700, all motorized. Capture production ranged between 19 000 and 25 000 tonnes in the 1992–1997 period. Since then, there has been a decline in catches to reach an estimate of 15 000 tonnes in 2014.

    The decline in capture fisheries has been due mainly to a combination of coastal pollution, environmental degradation and unsustainable fishing practices. Most of the resources which constitute Jamaica’s traditional inshore fisheries, mainly species associated with reefs (e.g. snappers, groupers, lobsters, etc.), are being overexploited. The status of the deep-slope and offshore pelagic resources is unknown. The conch resource, although fully exploited, is sustainably managed.

    Coral reef-related fisheries are socially and economically important in Jamaica. Reef-related fisheries support between 15 000–20 000 active fishers, most of whom are artisanal, thus providing coastal communities with an important “safety net” of food and employment in times of need. Jamaica’s fisheries contribute directly and indirectly to the livelihoods of more than 100 000 people island- wide, or nearly 5 percent of the population. Increasing climate variability has also compounded local vulnerability of Jamaica’s reefs. After recording the highest production of 8 000 tonnes in 2006, the annual aquaculture production has declined drastically and continuously to 786 tonnes in 2013. The sharp decline in Tilapia production is caused, among other factors, the high production costs and by competition of imported tilapias. The close down of marine shrimp farms was said to be caused by unfavorable business conditions including serious thievery.

    The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea was signed in Montego Bay, Jamaica, in December 1982. Jamaica became Party to the Convention on 21 March 1983. Jamaica signed the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement, but has not yet ratified it. Jamaica hosts, in Kingston, the International Sea Bed Authority.
    General geographic and economic indicators

    Table 1 - General Geographic and Economic Data – Jamaica

    Shelf area: 13,874 km2 Sea around us:
    Length of continental coastline: 1,022 km World by Map:
    Fisheries GVA (2010): 0.4% National GDP

    Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM): Statistics and Information Report 2010

    *Value converted by FAO as per UN currency exchange rate

    Key statistics

    Country area10 990km2FAOSTAT. Official data, 2013
    Land area10 830km2FAOSTAT. Expert sources from FAO (including other divisions), 2013
    Inland water area160km2Computed. Calculated, 2013
    Population - Est. & Proj.2.814millionsFAOSTAT. Official data, 2018
    Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) area257 777km2VLIZ
    GDP (current US$)14 768millionsWorld Bank. 2017
    GDP per capita (current US$)5 110US$World Bank. 2017
    Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value added6.45% of GDPWorld Bank. 2017

    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 – Jamaica

          1980 1990 2000 2010 2012 2013 2014
    EMPLOYMENT (thousands) 10.4 16.9 24.47 19.64 22.43 22.74 23.21
      Aquaculture 0.9 1 0.7 0.1 0.1 0.1
      Capture 10.4 16 23.47 18.94 22.33 22.65 23.11
        Marine 10.4 16 23.47 18.94 22.33 22.65 23.11
    FLEET(thousands vessels) 4.11 0.33 6.7
    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 2005The 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_JM.pdf

    Additional information

    Meetings & News archive


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