Find Fisheries expertise in Jamaica

The combined contribution of agriculture, forestry and fisheries constituted 5% of Jamaica’s GDP (2008), while exports of fish and fish products accounted for 8% of all Jamaican agricultural exports in 2008. Fish products that are exported include lobster tails, conch and finfish species.  The industry is crucial to the livelihoods of about 18,000 to 20,000 fishermen who work from about 3,500 registered fishing vessels (2010).

Jamaica’s fishing industry is largely (95%) composed of artisanal fishing (or small-scale fishing) operating from open canoe type boats, and a few industrial fishing vessels. As the majority of fishing occurs on the island shelf which covers an area of 1,853 km2, the catch profile is predominantly reef fish species (80%), spiny lobsters (5%) and Queen Conch (0.3%).

Artisanal fisheries target a wide variety of species that include small coastal pelagics, deep slope finfish, shallow-shelf/reef finfish and marine invertebrates, notably spiny lobster, shrimp, crab and oysters. The catch profile for industrial fisheries is largely conch. Aquaculture composes a small segment of the fishing sector of Jamaica, and is largely small scale with an estimated 300 farmers culturing red tilapia (2002). The vast majority of the artisanal fisheries catch is aimed at domestic consumption, while industrial fishers tend to be oriented towards the export market.

Within the context of a Sustainable National Development Strategy, Jamaica has a range of policies for the protection and preservation of the environment and the safeguarding of biodiversity. These policies are expected to impact positively on the increased productivity of national fisheries through improvement of habitats and better management of fish stocks.

Fisheries organisations in Jamaica
Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries
Murray's Fish Farm Ltd
Rainforest Seafoods