[Coral-List] Scuba and Spearfishing: from Karl Aiken
jlang at riposi.net
Mon May 12 19:36:49 EDT 2014
Dr. Karl Aiken of the University of the West Indies (UWI), asked me to post the following comment about spearfishing.
On May 12, 2014, at 4:58 PM, "AIKEN,Karl A" <karl.aiken at UWIMONA.EDU.JM> wrote:
Yes, I certainly am opposed to any unregulated fishery activity, and particularly spearfishing. In Jamaica I conduced two studies between 2009 and 2011 and both showed intense levels of fishing effort but especially along our narrow north coastline but the reef is small and a short swim. Not surprisingly there's mostly only tiny fish left in many places except where, since 2010, we've introduced a few small Fish Sanctuaries. Exacerbating all this is a sluggish economy and high unemployment combined with tiny coastal villages everywhere and the small captial investment to begin spearfishing. Those factors, combined now with poor enforcement, make that almost no enforrcement (due to inadequate funding, low personnel numbers and way outdated fines), enable you to have a receipe for a "product" called "reef fish disaster."
So are we throwing the towel in here in Jamaica? Hell, no!. Here at UWI Mona we have been advising the Fisheries Division to register all spearfishers, hold meetings to discuss overfishing issues and enforce the ban on night spearfishing, and the importation of spearguns and their parts. This has started. Its going to take a while. But wish us luck!
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