Caribbean fisherfolk, Japan partner in fisheries project

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Photo credit: Geoffrey Smith

CARICOM, a group of Caribbean communities working to strengthen the economic impact of fifteen islands, recently facilitated meetings for a five-year pilot initiative, the Caribbean Fisheries Co-Management Project (CARIFO).

CARIFCO partners Japan with fisherfolk on several islands to source and manage fisheries responsibly. The project launched in 2013.



Japan is a heavy consumer of fish with estimates that one in ten fish are eaten on the island nation. However, recent reports show a reduction in fish consumption.

Likely, less fish is eaten off the waters of Japan due to high contamination from the Fukushima nuclear leak in 2011. Although the country follows strict guidelines of fish, studies show that the radioactive waters from dumping Fukushima’s nuclear waste, gravely impact the seafood industry.

Or in the words of emcee Mos Def who took on the diminished quality of the globe’s water says, “got the fish looking googly-eyed,” due to extreme amounts of environmental damage.

Sustainable Growth

The partnership between Japan and the Caribbean was to conduct ongoing workshops and classes showing fisherfolk how to use advanced technology to sustain their industry. In exchange, the Caribbean provided Japan with fish.

Since, a growth in Caribbean fisheries were a direct result of CARIFCO, making the long-standing tradition of fishing a more lucrative industry for locals. Fisherfolk organizations have formed to support the development and management of fisheries. As well, Japan invested in Caribbean fisheries.

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