This report hopes to provide a status report on the nature and extent of social development in the fisheries sector and within the context of the SSF Guidelines. It also looks at existing current policies and legislation for social development in fisheries and identifies strategies and programmes geared towards enhancing it. The report furthermore expands on how all of these can aid in conservation and creating responsible and sustainable small-scale fisheries.
The structure of this document is influenced by the country’s susceptibility to natural disasters and external shocks; its heavy reliance on tourism; a high human development classification coupled with emerging income inequality; the unique challenges Small Island Developing States (SIDS) face due to limited economies of scale and fragile ecosystems; the subregional and regional governance arrangements at the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) level; and the socio-economic safety net, in terms of employment and food security, provided to the artisanal and small-scale fisheries sector.
The term ‘fishing community’ is not restricted to the narrow geographical context of a physical community substantially dependent on or engaged in the harvesting, culturing or processing of fishery resources for socio-economic needs. It includes coastal villages, towns and urban areas that have strong cultural ties to fishing or fish processing. In Antigua, fishers and their households are generally dispersed across the island. The exceptions are the coastal villages of Urlings, Old Road, Johnson Point and Crab Hill (collectively called the Round South Community), where 9 per cent of the population is directly dependent on fishing (Horsford 1999); and the coastal urban communities of Point-Villa and Grays-Green, where 7 per cent and 10 per cent of the population respectively are directly dependent on fishing (Horsford 2005). In Barbuda’s Codrington Village, one in four persons (26 per cent) of the population is directly dependent on fishing or fish exports (Horsford 1999).
The term ‘fisher’ is defined according to the Fisheries Regulations of 2013—“any person engaged in the harvesting, taking, processing, culturing or trading of fish or fishery products, to include any aquatic flora or fauna”.