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An island without fish? Cuba aims to tackle problem with law overhaul by Sarah Marsh August 27,2019   |  Source: Reuters

In the sleepy Cuban fishing village of Cojimar that inspired Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea,” locals say they are struggling to catch fish.

Cuba’s fish stocks have dropped drastically in recent decades due to overfishing and environmental factors, scientists say, prompting the country last month to pass a law imposing new regulations on the fishing industry.

“We catch less, about half of what we once did,” said Carlos Duran, a leathery-skinned 63-year-old who has been fishing for more than four decades. “Some people go out 10 times without catching anything at all.”

Cuba estimates the population of the 54 species it fishes commercially, such as grouper and snapper, has declined 44 percent in the last five years with catches falling 70 percent over that period.

The decline has been a blow to the fishing industry, which already suffered the dismantling of its long-range state fishing fleet because it could not maintain it in the wake of the collapse of Cuba’s former benefactor the Soviet Union.

The expansion of fish farming has been unable to make up for the shortfall worsened by a decline in imports in the cash-strapped country. Much of what seafood Cuba does produce, including lobster and shrimp, is exported to generate much-needed


© Copyright © euronews 2019

Theme(s): Fisheries Development and Aquaculture.

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