The establishment of marine protected and marine managed areas, as a strategy for marine ecosystem management, has resulted in the loss of and minimised use of traditional fishing grounds. An immediate unfortunate consequence of this was reduced income by fishers, and the trickle-down effects of the compromised sustenance of their families and the wider communities. The introduction of FAD technology to the region in the early 1990s was an attempt to attain equilibrium between environmental conservation and social and economic wellbeing. This technology provides fishers with access to fishing grounds outside the marine protected areas, thereby allowing them the opportunity to recover the incomes lost as a result of the now restricted use of their traditional fishing grounds. Fishers have had to adapt to this new practice by making adjustments to their fishing methods, fish targeted, equipment used, their relationship with the marine resources, and also their interpersonal industry culture. FAD fishing has also resulted in and demanded a change in the palate of the general populace, while also making it possible for fishers to access previously untapped markets and marine resources.
In 2013, the Fisheries Department of Grenada received technical support through the CARIFICO Project to improve their management of FADs. As a sterling example of sustained and sustainable management of technical support, the Department has continued to improve their FAD Management, and the technology has now become the key driver of the island’s fishery. The Carriacou Fisher Folks Inc. now continue to build on these successes by focusing on improving the management of its FADs. It will be doing this through the soon to be registered and operationalised GrenFAD. This entity will oversee the management of FADs owned by the CFFI, as well as manage the establishment and enforcement of strategies, protocols and operational guidelines aligned toward sustainable FAD management by the practitioners under its umbrella, from its Data Centre at L’Esterre Bay.
As part of its support to the CFFI’s focus on responsible resource and livelihood management, the Caribbean Aqua-Terrestrial Solutions (CATS) Programme, during the week of July 16th to 19th, 2019, supported the training of 25 fishing sector practitioners from Carriacou, Petite Martinique and Grenada, in the responsible management of their FAD fish stock, through collaborative data collection and management and the development of a fee structure and protocol. The participation of a large percentage of young adults (63%) in this capacity building activity augers very well for the longevity and sustainable management of the fishery sector in Grenada. The training also broke gender barriers through the participation of young adult females in a sector widely seen as being male dominated. Noteworthy is that one of the 5 female participants is a registered and full-time fisher with over 20 years of fishing experience.
Theoretical sessions at John’s Unique Conference Centre
The training was facilitated by Mr. Francis Calliste, Fisheries Officer within the Ministry of Climate Resilience, the Environment, Forestry, Fisheries, Disaster Management and Information, who actively works on improving the FAD management within the Grenville fishing community, while also providing support to fishery management in wider Grenada and the Caribbean region. The training was highly interactive and involved the sharing of much vital information on the fishing sector with particular focus on the Carriacou and Grenada scenarios. Among the critical data shared was the identification of challenges faced by fishers. To facilitate solution-based interactions and foresight, a basic roadmap for gradually addressing these was collaboratively compiled by the participants. The practitioners also collaboratively developed the tools and protocols which they will be using to manage their FAD data and resources.
The participation of individuals from the Ministry of Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs, the Sandy Island Oyster Bed Marine Protected Area (SIOPMPA) Office, and sister programme Climate Smart Agriculture Rural Enterprise Programme were critical. This multi-sectoral participation has opened channels for the exchange of information and contribution of the latter to the decisions made within these entities. This multi-sectoral approach also allowed the opportunity to expand this collaboration beyond the immediate fishery sector, to the wider community and other stakeholders who can contribute to, as well as benefit from the effective management of the marine resources in Carriacou and wider Grenada. Feedback from the trainees was also a crucial piece of information shared. This feedback will instruct future support to the stakeholders.
Practical session at Hillsborough Fish Market
Caribbean Aqua-Terrestrial Solutions (CATS) Programme Phase II (Building Climate Resilience from the Ridge to the Reef), recognises the value of its support to the Grenada fishery and is committed to supporting the effective and sustainable management of its Marine Managed and Protected Areas. As follow up to this training, the CATS Programme will continue discussions with the CFFI and key fishery stakeholders on actions to achieve success in FAD and fishery management in Grenada and render technical possible where possible within the Programme’s capacity and scope.
The Programme extends tremendous gratitude to the Mr. Francis Calliste, the Ministry of Climate Resilience, the Environment, Forestry, Fisheries, Disaster Management and Information and the Ministry of Carriacou and Petit Martinique Affairs. It also commends the CFFI for their initiative and drive and most notably thanks and commends all the participants who extricated themselves from their livelihoods to gather information and skills to assist them in the long-term management of their fish stock and sustainability of their livelihoods.
About the CATS Programme
The CATS Programme applies an integrated Ridge-to-Reef Approach (R2R), to address the increasing vulnerability of Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Low-Lying Coastal States (LLCS) to climate change and the attendant negative impacts on coastal communities and economies; ecosystems and biodiversity (terrestrial and coastal/marine), and natural resources management. The target beneficiaries of the Programme are local practitioners (particularly fishermen, farmers, foresters, agro-processors and other persons along the value chains of these primary producers) in the focus watersheds and Marine Managed Areas in the Member States. The political host of the Programme is the CARICOM Secretariat through the Environmental Health and Sustainable Development (EHS) Department of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). The Programme is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through the German International Development Agency (GIZ).