The United States Caribbean: A New Approach to Shallow-Water Reef Fish Management
Inhabitants of the United States Caribbean rely heavily on their fisheries as a
source of food and employment. Because aquatic resources are common property,1 they
are extremely attractive to islanders, many of whom are landless and lack alternative
opportunities to make a living.2 For the past 30 years, Shallow-water Reef Fish (SWRF)
catches in Puerto Rico (P.R.) and the United States Virgin Islands (U.S.V.I.) have been
decreasing even as the number of fishermen increased and fishing techniques were
modernized.3 Despite federal and state laws recommending more stringent conservation
measures since the mid-80s, to this date, SWRF resources are still decreasing in the U.S.
Caribbean. A variety of natural and anthropogenic stresses affect marine fisheries of P.R.
and the USVI. More specifically, I believe that three socially-related issues currently
hinder effective fisheries management in the region: the western style approach,
enforcement, and lack of fishermen’s participation in management. The aim of this
project is to determine what practices need to change in order to lead to the desired
fisheries` management4 objective: the recovery and sustainable yield of SWRF in the
U.S. Caribbean. Additionally, I propose new management measures, which complement
the existing managerial structure, and should improve the current situation.
School Location:USA - North Carolina
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:caribbean shallow water reef fish swrf fisheries
Date of Publication:01/01/2004