Find Fisheries expertise in Barbados

Agriculture, forestry and fisheries contribute 3% of Barbados’s GDP (2008). The fisheries sector is mainly artisanal, providing direct and indirect employment and income to around 6,000 people. Apart from direct employment and job creation in the fisheries sector there are many other ways that fisheries is beneficial to the socio-economic landscape of Barbados including tourism, support services to the fishing industry, culture and heritage. Barbados has a short coastline of only 95 km and a small maritime space of 48,800 km2, as well as a small shelf area that cannot sustain a large number of demersal fish which live in deep waters, close to the sea bed.

The flying fish and large pelagic (middle sea depth) fisheries dominate the country’s fisheries industry. Barbados is sometimes known as ‘the land of the flying fish’ because of the abundance and popularity of the species, which accounts for approximately 62% of annual fish landings with an ex-vessel value of BDS$3 million. The four-winged flying fish (Hirundichtuys affinis) is one of 13 species of flying fish found in the Eastern Caribbean and is one of three known to be exploited, accounting for about 90% of all flying fish landed. However, this popular species is available for harvest for only about seven months of the year during which time fishers must make full use of their time and efforts to reap maximum economic benefits from the fishery.

In the offseason seine fishery using a large rectangular net, is important in supporting the livelihoods of fishers. The targeted species of the Barbados seine fishery include the coastal schooling pelagics known locally as jacks and cavalli, as well as coral reef fish species such as barbers, chubs and grunts. Yet, the seine fishery in Barbados is considered minor, operating largely as an alternative fishery during the pelagic fishery ‘off-season’ (June -October). As such, it remains poorly documented and the importance and contribution of this fishery to the island’s fishing industry is largely unknown.

However, the fisheries sector can also be divided into the shallow-shelf reef fishery which targets hinds, parrotfish, grunts, surgeon fish and triggerfish. The catch profile of the deep-slope and bank reef fishery on the other hand is largely snappers. The coastal pelagic fishery targets jacks, herrings, silversides, anchovies, ballyhoo, scads, barracuda, garfish and small tunas, although most of the catch is used as bait for the other fisheries.

Fisheries organisations in Barbados
Barbados Fishing Co-Op Society Ltd
Beckles Pamela
Fisheries Division
Jones Fisheries Caribbean Ltd
Lucky D's Seafood
Ocean Fisheries Ltd