|Type||Journal Article - Review of current fisheries management performance and conservation measures in the WECAFC area|
Saint Lucia is one of the small island developing states (SIDS) located within the West
Indies archipelago at latitude 13° 53’ N and longitude 60° 58’ W and is the second
largest of the four Windward Islands. The island has an area of 616 km2 and a small
economy heavily dependent on agriculture and tourism (GOSL, 2009). St. Lucia’s
coastline is 158 km (Central Intelligence Agency, 2013). Saint Lucia’s GDP (PPP) is
USD 2.233 billion, with a real growth rate of -0.4 percent (2012) (Central Intelligence
Agency, 2013). Agriculture, which includes fisheries, contributes 3.1 percent to GDP
(2012). The island has a resident population of 165 595 and a population density of 308
(796 persons per square mile), living on a total land area of approximately
(GOSL, 2011). Due to the rugged topography of the interior of the island,
most of the population and economic activity is concentrated along the coast or in close
proximity to the coastline. It is estimated that 75 percent of populations of Caribbean
islands are nestled along the coastal zone (Wade and Webber, 2002). The high ratio of
coastline to land area and the concentration of people and economic activity along the
coast makes the island, its coastal resources and its people highly vulnerable to the
impacts of natural disasters like floods, tropical storms and hurricanes.
Saint Lucia’s small economy has historically depended and continues to depend
heavily on its limited natural resources for tourism, agriculture and fisheries.
Recognizing the critical importance of the fisheries sector to the livelihoods of
numerous persons, the Fisheries Management Plan (FMP) of Saint Lucia (2006)
enunciates that the government is committed to the conservation and sustainable use
of fisheries and associated resources for the long-term benefit of its people. In addition,
the plan vouches to ensure that the management decisions undertaken by resource
users and managers will be guided by the best scientific evidence available, taking into
account traditional knowledge of the resources and their habitats, as well as relevant
environmental, economic and social factors to ensure their effective conservation and
management (Government of Saint Lucia, 2006).
The Saint Lucia fishing industry comprises demersal, coastal pelagic and offshore
pelagic fisheries. The fishing year for Saint Lucia is divided into a high season that
typically extends from December to May when significant landings of offshore
migratory pelagic species are landed and a low season during June to November when
relatively large quantities of demersal fish species are landed.
In 2012, the total annual production for commercial capture fisheries was 1 709
tonnes, of which the offshore pelagic fishery accounted for 64 percent of the annual
landings (Department of Fisheries, 2012) which were made up of a number of migratory
species including dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus), wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri),
blackfin tuna (Thunnus atlanticus), yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares), skipjack tuna
(Katsuwonus pelamis) and sharks (various families).
|»||St. Lucia - Population and Housing Census 2010|