[Coral-List] Synopsis of DFP in Caribbean
Stephen G. Dunbar
sdunbar at ns.llu.edu
Tue May 18 19:17:09 EDT 2004
Synopsis of responses to Destructive Fishing Thread Started April 27
Adam Payne suggested that contacts, including the Centre for Marine
Sciences (CMS) at UWI under the direction og George Warner, the Peace Corps
and the Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP) at Discovery Bay Marine Lab
would have current information on DFP in Jamaica. Payne stated that during
his PhD research there (no years given) most fishing was done by spear
fishermen or traps. Although minimum mesh sizes were stated, there was
little regulation or enforcement.
John Ogden believes that there is little information on dynamite & cyanide
fishing in Jamaica because these methods have not commonly been used there.
While other chemicals, like bleach, have been used, Ogden stated that he
had never heard of dynamite being used in Jamaica. However, while there in
the early 70s he had heard of it being used elsewhere in the Caribbean.
According to John, most overfishing has been by fish traps.
Reefbase was suggested by John McManus as an excellent source for lit. on
DFP and reef damage www.reefbase.org
Another excellent resource, provided by Judith Mendes, was Peter Espeut, a
former Pew research fellow in fisheries and current director of Caribbean
Coastal Area Management in Jamaica. See: www.ccam.org.jm.
Alexander Stone of Reef Guardian International, provided their website as a
source of info on fish traps and fish trap impacts. See: www.reefguardian.org.
According to Iain Macdonald, dynamite fishing on Js n coast would not
presently be done because: (1) there are no fish left there to make it
worth doing. Macdonald also stated that cyanide fishing is very limited,
most likely because there are so few fish. Ornamental fish trade is
probably non-existent on N. coast and, (2) Such practices are illegal and
there are numerous outreach programs
that reach fisherman
thought that fish densities on S. Coast may be high enough to warrant such
DFP, but he was unfamiliar with that side of the island.
Valeria Pizarro knows of some areas along the Caribbean coast of Columbia,
near Santa Marta that were damaged (and remain damaged) by dynamite fishing
about 10 years ago, but states that dynamite fishing in that area now is rare.
Dr Goreau emphasized that Jamaica's largest offshore barrier reef was
completely destroyed by dynamite a couple of decades ago by fishermen who
bought dynamite stolen from rock quarries from the police. However, there
does not seem to be literature to support this. Goreau also stated that, A
lot of the South Coast fishermen were dynamite fishermen, with a handful of
areas being especially bad. but now there is not much left for them to blow
Discussions by Alina Szmant focused on the problem of human unbridled,
uncontrolled rate of human population growth as a key problem of all coral
reef ills and other marine and terrestrial systems. While fisherman are no
more ignorant now than 100 years, Alina states that there are more of them
now, and more mouths to feed. She emphasized that although over-fishing has
a severe impact on coral reef ecosystem structure, global warming/bleaching
has the biggest impact. She states
we are all guilty as charged for being
alive and consuming. Szmant believes that coming up with better
technologies is not the answer, since new technologies will always lag
behind the population growth. In her opinion, we have exceeded the capacity
to feed, clothe and provide jobs and a decent standard of living for ourselves.
DeeVon Quirolo provided a testimony to the late Katy Thacker, who helped
found the Negril Coral Reef Preservation Society, an NGO that helps to
manage the Negril Marine Park that Katy worked to establish. She enlisted
the help of local fishermen throughout Negril. Katy passed away this past
Earth Day, April 22, 2004.
A substantial discussion by Jeremy Woodley who suggested that without the
enlistment of local communities and the larger society in general,
education alone (especially aimed only at the fisherman) would not suffice.
Woodley agreed that education was an important component of affecting
change, but that it had to be ongoing. It is clear that legislation and
outside management are not the keys (by themselves). These are almost
certain to fail without the co-management of resources by the communities
that use and are affected by the resources. Another point that Jeremy made
was that without major government programs, progressive change would come
Some examples of successful programs that he provides are: the Caribbean
Coastal Area Management Foundation, led by Peter Espeut, in the Portland
Bight Protected Area (in St. Catherine, west of Kingston), The Portland
Bight Fisheries Management Council, representing thousands of fishers, has
planned protected areas and drawn up regulations. You can read something
about it at http://www.unesco.org/csi/act/jamaica/jamai3e.htm
And the work of the Fisheries Improvement Programme, founded at Discovery
Bay, Jamaica, in 1988.
Some specific references provided by Jeremy are:
Sary Z, Oxenford HA, Woodley JD (1997) Effects of an increase in trap mesh
size on an over-exploited coral reef fishery at Discovery Bay, Jamaica.
Marine Ecology Progress Series 154:107-120
Woodley JD, Sary Z (2002) Development of a locally-managed fisheries
reserve at Discovery Bay, Jamaica. Proc 9 ICRS (2) 627-633
Woodley JD, Sary Z, Gayle PMH (2003) Fishery management measures instituted
at Discovery Bay, Jamaica, with special reference to establishment of the
Fisheries Reserve. Gulf and Caribbean Research 14 (2) 181-193.
The above synopsis of comments to the DFP in the Caribbean discussion was
prepared by Steve Dunbar. I apologize for any over-simplifications or any
statements that do not reflect the meanings or thoughts intended. Thanks
again to all those who replied and continue the discussion off list.
Dr. Stephen G. Dunbar, PhD
Assistant Professor, Marine Biology
Department of Natural Sciences
Loma Linda University,
Loma Linda, Ca. 92350
Ph. (909) 558-1000 Ext. 48903
Fax (909) 558 - 0259
LLU Faculty Page:
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