Assessing Fishing Pressure in a Small-Scale Fishery in St. Eustatius, Dutch Caribbean

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World fisheries are an important source of food and income for millions of people around the world, and represents a billion dollar industry (FAO, 2018). As a result, research on fisheries has mainly focused on large, commercial fisheries and less on small-scale, subsistence and artisanal fisheries (Anticamara et al., 2011). The result is a perceived lack of data from small-scale fisheries, and therefore less is known about their impact on the surrounding environment and importance to the communities that utilize them. Recent research on small-scale fisheries (SSF) has shown that data deficiencies can impact sustainability efforts, and have a large impact on small island developing states (Nash et al. 2016, Gill et al. 2019). Global fisheries are at risk, and SSF even more so, as anthropogenic effects reduce catch, change the range distribution of fish, change productivity, and drive the decline of fish stocks (Brander, 2010; Doney et al., 2012; Hanich et al., 2018). In order to curb these potentially dangerous declines, more research and capital needs to be invested in researching small-scale fisheries. St. Eustatius, a small island developing nation, which is part of the Dutch Caribbean, has a marine park surrounding the entire island from the high water line down to 30 meters, as well as two marine reserves. As a small developing island territory, maintaining their coral reef ecosystem and their reef fisheries is important for the island economy, nutrition, and food security (de Graaf et al., 2015). However, up until now the effects of different gear types and fishing pressure on the surrounding coral reefs, fish populations, fish size, and how those trends have changed over time in St. Eustatius has been poorly understood. In this Masters Project, we will utilize the fisheries landings data and GCRMN data collected by STENAPA to assess fishing intensity and its potential effects on the surrounding reef ecosystem, in an effort to help with future management strategies, and offer a cost effective approach to addressing some of the knowledge gaps surrounding St. Eustatius fisheries.





Cullinan, Grace (2020). Assessing Fishing Pressure in a Small-Scale Fishery in St. Eustatius, Dutch Caribbean. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from

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