Find Fisheries expertise in Jamaica
- Overview of the industry
- Fishery bodies
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.
Relevant associations include the Jamaica Aquaculture Association (JAA) which aims to provide a vehicle for political lobbying as well as being a network for technical and commercial support. The Jamaica Ornamental Fish Farmers Association serves as the umbrella organisation for ornamental fish farmers in Jamaica. The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) is an inter-governmental organization with its mission being to promote and facilitate the responsible utilisation of the region’s fisheries and other aquatic resources for the economic and social benefits of the current and future population of the region.
The Fisheries Division in the Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for the conservation and sustainable utilisation of the Jamaican fisheries resources in a manner that ensures optimum social and economic benefits to Jamaica. The Fishing Industry Act (1975); Fishing Regulations (1976) along with the Pedro and Morant Act (1907) regulate the Jamaican Fishing Industry. Other related Acts such as the Natural Resources Conservation Authority Act (1995), the Wildlife Protection Act (1945) also impact on the management of the Fishing Industry.
|Fisheries organisations in Jamaica|
|Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries||
|Murray's Fish Farm Ltd||