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

The Profile (2000)

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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

    Trinidad and Tobago is a Caribbean island State covering an area of 5 128 km2, with a coastline of 470 km and a population of 1 360 000 in 2015.

    The fisheries sector plays both an important economic and social role. It constitutes an important source of employment and income and is a significant contributor to food supply and food security. The estimated per capita consumption amounted to 25.9 kg in 2013. The social significance of the sector is emphasized by the fact that most Trinidadian landings come from small-scale fisheries. This sector is a means of livelihood for about 50 000 persons, of which about 10 750 were directly employed in 2012.

    Fish production is composed almost entirely of marine capture fisheries, the annual catch average has been about 13 300 tonnes in the 2006-2013 period. On average, catches of tuna and tuna-like species are about one fourth of total catches. Aquaculture production is not significant (5 tonnes in 2014). Inshore fisheries resources are heavily fished or overfished. The fishing fleet of around 1 900 vessels operates from more than 100 landing sites (80 in Trinidad and 20 in Tobago) some of which are provided with landing, ice and cold storage facilities. The fishing fleet comprises primarily artisanal boats called “pirogues” generally equipped with one or two outboard engines and targets coastal and demersal pelagics. There are also shrimp trawlers based in Trinidad. Shrimp (Penaeids) is the principal exploited species; finfish, crabs, and squid are caught as by-catch. There is also a recently developed multi-purpose industrial fleet which consists of eight fibreglass vessels of 14-23 m length which primarily fish pelagic and demersal species. Trinidad and Tobago currently authorize 21 vessels for tuna fishing in the ICCAT area.

    Most of the fish is marketed fresh in the domestic market and sold directly by the fishermen on the beach to private vendors, middle-men or to consumers. The Port of Spain wholesale market is the main outlet where fish is brought to auction.

    The balance of trade of fish and fish products has shown a negative inflow since 2002. In 2014, whilst the estimated exports amounted to USD 13.5 million, imports reached a level of USD 52.5 million. These imports are large quantities of lower-value fish to compensate for the decrease in local supplies. Fish exports consist mainly of high-value species such as shrimp, tuna, snapper, kingfish, dolphin and flying fish in fresh and frozen forms.

    The Government of Trinidad and Tobago is developing actions aiming at improving fisheries sustainability through the development and implementation of fisheries management plans with a special emphasis placed on coastal management of certain areas and on monitoring, control and surveillance activities and a better utilization of fisheries subsidies.

    The Government is aiming at increasing fish supply through the implementation of programmes to explore offshore fishing opportunities with the technical assistance of Japan and the development of aquaculture development policies.

    Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela are bound by a bilateral treaty on fisheries and actively joint manage shared fisheries resources in the Gulf of Paria.

    Trinidad and Tobago is Party to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea since April 1986 and to the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement since September 2006.
    General geographic and economic indicators

    Table 1 - General Geographic and Economic Data - The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

    Shelf area 9 800 km2

    Sea Around Us


    Length of continental coastline 386 km

    World by Map:


    Fisheries GVA (2011) 0,06% of National GDP

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

    Key statistics

    Country area5 130km2FAOSTAT. Official data, 2013
    Land area5 130km2FAOSTAT. Official data, 2013
    Inland water area-km2Computed. Calculated, 2013
    Population - Est. & Proj.1.37millionsFAOSTAT. Official data, 2018
    Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) area76 866km2VLIZ
    GDP (current US$)22 105millionsWorld Bank. 2017
    GDP per capita (current US$)16 145US$World Bank. 2017
    Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value added0.48% 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 – The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

          1980 1990 2000 2010 2012 2013 2014
    EMPLOYMENT (thousands) 3.79 4.90 7.30 10.72 10.72
      Capture 3.79 4.90 7.30 10.72 10.72
        Marine 3.79 4.90 7.30 10.72 10.72
    FLEET(thousands vessels)
    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 2000The 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_TT.pdf

    Additional information

    Meetings & News archive


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