Study Helps Promote and Build Aquaculture in the Caribbean

61_aussizedThe Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM has established a new Aquaculture Working Group which will identify constraints to aquaculture development and make proposals to the Caribbean Fisheries Forum and the CRFM Ministerial Council, for addressing these issues. As part of this initiative, the Aquaculture Working Group will promote sustainable aquaculture development at the national and regional levels. The Group will also advise countries on policies, programs and projects to help promote the development of aquaculture. The main objectives are: to increase food production and security, improve rural income and employment, diversify farm production, and increase foreign exchange earnings, and reduce high food import bills. The meeting of the CRFM Aquaculture Working Group was held at the Grand Coastal Hotel in Guyana from July 31 to August 1, 2014. See more in the excerpts and link to full article below:

Globally, aquaculture is a multi-billion-dollar industry, but the Caribbean has yet to tap into its true potential to expand marine and fresh water aquaculture. The good news is that a recently concluded study will provide the necessary foundation for a region-wide programme to harness more from the culture of fish and other fisheries products.

Milton Haughton, Executive Director of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), emphasised that: “Aquaculture has the potential to make greater contribution to economic and social development of the Caribbean, provided that appropriate policy frameworks and incentives are provided for stakeholders in the sector.”

The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (2014), published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, said that world food fish aquaculture production expanded at an average annual rate of 6.2 per cent in the period 2000–2012 (and 9.5 per cent in 1990–2000), from 32.4 million to 66.6 million tonnes, with growth being relatively faster in Africa (11.7 per cent) and Latin America and the Caribbean (10 per cent).

In 2008, only 2.9 per cent of fishers and fish farmers were in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to FAO stats. That is because the aquaculture sector is not well developed in the CARICOM region. Significant development has been limited to countries like Jamaica and Belize, but other countries like Guyana, Haiti, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago have begun to put more emphasis on aquaculture as an area for development.

“The practices mainly involve the use of ponds to culture such species as penaeid shrimp (Penaeus spp.), tilapia (Oreochromis spp.), carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus, Hypophthalmichthys nobilis, Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and cachama (Colossoma macropomum). Also, there is long line culture for algae (Eucheuma spp. and Gracelaria spp.) in St. Lucia and the mangrove oyster (Crassostrea rhizophorae) in Jamaica,” the CRFM notes.

[. . .] The objective is to increase food production and security, improve rural income and employment, diversify farm production, and increase foreign exchange earnings and reduce the high food import bill.

[Image above from Top image via Shutterstock.]

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