FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean

FAO promotes women training in fisheries to face the economic crisis in the Caribbean

The Director-General of FAO visited the Bridgetown Fishing Complex, where he met with local fisherfolk's groups.

February 6, 2023, Bridgetown, Barbados- The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), QU Dongyu met with local fisherfolk and women of the Central Fish Processors Association, during his visit to the Bridgetown Fishing Complex in Barbados yesterday.

As part of his agenda during his first visit to the Caribbean, the Director General learned about the details of the implementation of a FAO supported fish silage project. This technical process that generates liquid feed or pellets and fertilizer by processing fish waste, including the fish’s gut, head and tail. This initiative aims to assist women working in the small-scale fisheries to generate an alternative source of income through the production of animal feed derived from the fish silage.

QU stated, “The circular economy is ideal in Barbados as you have sugar cane.  You have the residue from the sugar cane, which you can compost to make organic fertilizer and use it to grow vegetables, and you can mix it in with manure. So that's another cycle”.

The fish silage project is part of the initiative "Promoting the circular economy in fisheries value chains to support sustainable livelihoods", and seeks to generate alternative measures to promote food and nutrition security while reducing imports of feed and fertilizers, for example.

QU also experienced first-hand the process for preparing and processing fresh tuna fish for export to the United States. Each tuna fish weighed an estimated 100 pounds.

Renata Clarke, Subregional Coordinator, FAO who also accompanied QU on the tour of the Bridgetown Fisheries Complex indicated that transforming fish waste into valuable resources with potential for income streams is critical to empowering women and bolstering the spirit of entrepreneurship.

She added, “At least 90% of the estimated 5 tons of fish waste is dumped annually which further exacerbates the challenges associated with landfills and its harmful effects on the environment. So this initiative is a win-win situation for all”.

Adrian Forde, Minister of the Environment and National Beautification, Green and Blue Economy said: “I am happy to be part of something like this; something great that we are doing as it relates to a circular economy and ensuring there is sustainable development of our fisherfolk”.

Meanwhile, Dr Yvette Diei Ouadi, FAO Fishery and Aquaculture Officer, Secretary of the Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission (WECAFC) stated that while the concept of producing fish silage is not a new one, what is innovative about the work here in Barbados is the adaptation of the value chain to the local specificity; the socio economic and environmental context of Barbados.

“We have optimized the process for women and youth so they can make the best use of our locally available waste and other resources like the molasses from the sugar industry. This circular economy promotion initiative which started within a strong national buy-in has been bearing important fruits”, she added.

Juan Cheaz, FAO Representative for Barbados who was also among the touring delegation stated, “The potential for upscaling is great. Representatives from the pig industry and the poultry sector said they were enthusiastic about the prospects of the new feed, and were looking forward to the results of further testing. This augers well in terms of potential partnerships with the private sector to help boost key industries, particularly considering what cost of inputs like feed represent, in the current global context”.

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Visita del Director General de la FAO a Barbados