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Tuesday, 25 May 2010 13:51

Publications of the Fisheries Division.

Publication of the Fisheries Division.


Cecil R. G. 1999. Half a century of fisheries in Barbados: A quest for socio-economic interpretations in the systematic literature and the popular press. Fisheries Division Report No.1. 165 pp.  

Over the last half century, the fisheries of Barbados have been the subject of reports, studies and surveys, prepared by observers, representing diverse interests and approaches.  Concurrently the popular press has reported, irregularly, on many different aspects of the industry.  The cumulative mass of information, written in the last five decades, has grown to a point where it needs to be reviewed comprehensively, and synthesized.  That task is attempted here.
The review is concerned with the socioeconomic aspects of fisheries,within an overall context of economic development.  But, the actual approach used is restricted by the nature of the information, i.e., by the quality and quantity of information and data on specific Socioeconomic aspects of fisheries, and on the sector as a whole.  Nevertheless, each part of the fisheries system that received any form of attention in the past is examined individually.  It follows that some aspects of the industry can only be given cursory treatment, while others are examined in terms of their general nature and evolution.  Where needed and when possible, the information is placed into the island's greater economic development context.  The format of the presentation is designed so that the review serves as a compilation of key information, major ideas, and analytical interpretations, offered by previous authors. At the same time it provides a guide to the major works that have been published on the fisheries of Barbados over the years.
Tne review makes no pretence at replacing the works that preceded it.  But, certain topics have received so little attention,in the past, that most of what has been said about them can be reproduced here.  Conversely, material from topics that have received a great deal of coverage in the past is included here selectively, but as comprehensively as possible.





Sobers R. Report on the vertical longline and bottom longline training workshop held at the Fisheries Division, 08 to 14 March, 1999. Fisheries Division Report No.2.
The objective of this workshop was to improve the skills and techniques of five (5) members of the Fisheries Division staff and ten (10) fishers from the industry through the introduction of the vertical longline and bottom longline fishing methods to improve upon the fishing effort of fishers who operate on the deep slopes and near shore fishery resources of Barbados.

The methods of fishing technology identified were:

  • Vertical longline method
  • Bottom longline method

These methods of fishing were perceived as being an appropriate alternative to the current methods of fish traps (pots) and hand lines in targeting the same species of fish.




Mahon R. and Parker C., 1999. Barbados sea eggs, past, present and future. Fisheries Division, Ministry of Argriculture and Rural Development, Barbados Fisheries Management Plan, Public Information Document No.1: 15 pp.

In Barbados there is a small, but important, fishery for the roe of the white sea urchin ( Tripneustes ventricosus ) known as sea eggs.  The fishery for this traditional delicacy has been carried out for over a hundred years. The resource has a history of fluctuations leading to the first conservation legislation in 1879, forbidding the taking of sea eggs from April to August.  In the 1970s and 1980s the abundance of these sea urchins in the fishing areas on the south, southeast and east coasts declined dramatically, to the extent that by the late 1980s the fishery had collapsed. Following a three year ban extending from 1998 to 2001, sea egg stocks dramatically recovered.
However, Can we keep them from disappearing once more?  The answer is yes, through good management of course.  But, what is that?  In our view, a combination of science, knowledge and commitment from the people who make their living from the resource and cooperation from the public who cannot wait to have some to eat.
In this booklet, we provide some of the information available about sea eggs and the fishery and attempt to show how this information can be used.  Hopefully, in some small way this will contribute to the recovery of the sea egg fishery.






Willoughby S., 1989. The fishing Industry of Barbados.  

The Local Fishing Industry is now a topic on the syllabus of the primary schools.  Students of CXC and tertiary institutions are often required to do projects on the fishing industry.  At present information on the local fishing industry is scattered among several publications which are not readily available to the public Consequently the Fisheries Division is often requested, either to supply information, or to give talks to students, on the Local Fishing Industry. This booklet was compiled in order to meet the growing demand especially from primary schools, for information on the local fishing industry.
It is intended that this booklet will be continuously updated to reflect the new developments in the fishing industry.




Willoughby S. and D. Leslie. Fishing gear of Barbados.  

The purpose of this report is twofold.  First, it provides an insight of local fishing gear as part of the Fisheries Division's ongoing efforts to document aspects of the local fishing industry.  Second, it updates the parts of the publication "The Fishing Industry of Barbados" Willoughby 1989 and makes the information readily available to the public.
In very simple fashion the authors of this report convey the basic understanding of what fishing gear is, and how it performs in the hands of skilled fishermen.  This understanding of activities seldom seen by most people is necessary for the management of fisheries.  However, it is also important for students, teachers and the general public to appreciate part of the enterprise that helps to feed the nation from the resources in the seas around our shores.

This report documents the fishing gear commonly used by local fishermen.  The report is divided into three parts - nets lines and traps.  Four tvpes of fishing nets are described: gillnets, dipnets, seine nets and castnet.  The nets operate by entangling the target species.  Eight types of lines are described - brim line, guineaman line, pillar stick, blowgoat line, trolling lines, rod and reel, longlines, and pole and line.  These lines depend on baited hooks to catch the target species.  Five types of fish traps are mentioned - A, Z, S, rectangle and square.  Traps function by luring fish into the gear from which they (fish) are unable to escape.  Each type of gear is sketched and described in terms of the dimensions, materials of construction, target species, fishing area and operating techniques - deployment, soak time and retrieval.


The Fisheries management plan (2004 -2006)



This is the third Barbados Fisheries Management Plan (FMP). This FMP covers the period 1st January 2004 to 31st December 2006. The FMP contains information on the status of the local fishing industry and the planning processes used in developing the plan. It outlines strategies for the development and management of the fishing industry to ensure its sustainable contribution to the nutritional, economic and social well being of Barbadians. During the plan-period the FMP will form the basis for fisheries policy, management and administration. It will guide the formulation and implementation of fisheries legislation. The FMP may be reviewed and revised at any time during the plan-period.

Importance of the fishing industry
The local fishing industry is of great economic and social importance. During the past 60 years the fishing industry has made tremendous strides to become an area of significant economic activity with several types of vibrant small businesses, including fish processing, fish retailing and wholesaling, boat building, fish export and fish distribution. These businesses provide employment and income for an estimated 6,000 persons directly and indirectly, many of whom are self-employed. The industry is also an avenue for earning vital foreign exchange through fish exports, in addition to being a major contributor to local food security.

Need for planning
Fisheries contribute to the nutritional, economic and social well being of Barbadians. The local fisheries currently are open-access. All Barbadians have access to the resources and no one person owns the resources. People may have little incentive to conserve the fish resources. Fishers will be inclined to compete with each other to catch as many fish as possible. Fishery resources, though renewable, are not infinite. Consequently, it is imperative that effective management measures be put in place to prevent overexploitation of fisheries resources, to rebuild those that are depleted and to ensure sustainability of the resources for present and future generations of Barbadians. Effective management will require new ways of operating and managing the fisheries. In this new paradigm, management of the local fisheries resources will no longer be solely the dictate of Government. Instead, fisheries management will require collaboration of, and sharing of responsibility by, all stakeholders in the fishing industry. This will be done within the parameters set out in the local legislation and various international conventions and agreements to which Barbados is party since many fisheries resources are shared amongst several countries, it is important that arrangements and organisations for fisheries management are used.





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