Find Fisheries expertise in St Vincent and The Grenadines

The fisheries sector has been estimated to contribute about 0.6% in 2007 to St Vincent and Grenadines GDP. Saint Vincent and Grenadines is a net importer of fishery products, exporting an estimate EC$1.2 million while importing EC$6 million (EC $2.67= US$1 as of 2007). There have been estimated to be about 1500 full time fishermen, and 1000 part-time which indicates that fishing is an important source of employment.  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has a short coastline of only 84km, but has a relatively large coastal shelf area of 7800 km2. Exports are dominated by Tuan and lobster due to their relatively high value, accounting for 75% of fish exports.

The fishing industry is predominantly small scale and artisanal, employing traditional gears, methods and vessels (FAO 2002), and the dominating small fishery enterprises have a relatively low efficiency. However, there is an increasing trend for the fisheries as demand of locals and tourists increases. Additionally, the government has provided concessions and incentives for the expansion of the fishery by providing fishers with the opportunity to invest in bigger and more efficient boats.

While there is no commercial aquaculture in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the industry can largely be separated into the shallow shelf and reef fisheries, the deep slope and coastal pelagic fisheries, the larger offshore fisheries which target pelagics, and the cetacean fishery.

The shallow reef and reef fisheries largely target hinds, groupers, seabass, parrotfish, squirrelfish, grunts and triggerfish, of which about 80% are delivered directly to trading vessels for export. In addition, Caribbean spiny lobster and conch are also harvested.

The deep slope fishery mainly target snappers and groupers, while the coastal pelagic, as the name indicates, targets pelagics such as jacks, herring, silverside, anchovy and ballyhoo.

The deep slope fishery is by far the most important fishery for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines accounting for between 45-60% of landings.

The larger offshore pelagics industry targets fast-swimming, migratory species such as tuna, billfish, dolphnfish, wahoo, sharks, swordfish, whales and porpoises. Finally, the cetacean fishery includes a fishery for humpback whales, for which only 20 animals were allowed to be caught from 2003-2007.

Fisheries organisations in St Vincent and The Grenadines
Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism