Caribbean fisheries: Assessing hurricane impacts

In the aftermath of hurricanes Maria and Irma, Antigua and Barbuda and the Bahamas, amongst other islands, have suffered extensive damage to fishing vessels as well as to seagrass meadows, which support lobster, shrimp, and conch fisheries vital to fisherfolk livelihoods. The Barbuda fishing industry, for example, depends on conch and spiny lobster production, which has provided €125,000 to €312,000 annually over the last 5 years. In the Bahamas, around 6,000 people are employed in the fishing sector, with €84 million of products exported annually. However, initial evidence after the hurricanes show large numbers of dead conch washed up onto sand banks. With the region already suffering the impacts of climate change, reduced fish stocks and damaged marine ecosystems, restoring these valuable fisheries is an urgent priority.

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). CTA operates under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is funded by the EU.