The shrimp and groundfish fisheries of the Guianas-Brazil shelf provide employment to at least 150 000 fishers and many more in auxiliary jobs (processing, marketing/trade, vessel and gear repair and maintenance, etc.). The number of households that are economically dependent on the income derived from working in the shrimp and groundfish fisheries sub-sector is estimated to be over 1 million. Shrimp fisheries contribute significantly to hunger eradication and the achievement of food security. In coastal communities fish and fishery products consumption is generally higher than 40 kg/capita/year.

However, a number of shrimp and groundfish stocks in the region are fully exploited and at the risk of being overexploited. Fisheries technologies currently applied include unsustainable practices that are detrimental for aquatic habitats and put the lives of fishers at risk.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recognize that an investment is needed in ecosystem-based shrimp and groundfish fisheries management in the Guianas-Brazil Shelf.

Brazil, French Guyana, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela, the countries sharing these transboundary shrimp and groundfish resources, will be collaborating in this pilot project.

The project aims, over a one year period, to assess the value and management potential of shrimp and groundfish stocks and fisheries of the Guianas-Brazil Shelf, in order to enable sustainable investments in ecosystem-based management of these marine resources.

Main objectives of the project are to:

  1. Improve understanding of economic value of the shrimp and groundfish stocks and the economic impact of the related fisheries sector of the Guianas-Brazil shelf.
  2. Initiate an ecosystem-based shrimp and groundfish fisheries management of the Guianas-Brazil Shelf planning process.
  3. Develop an investment proposal for the IADB to promote and leverage public and private financing of investments in ecosystem based management of these resources.

The project will be using the WECAFC/CRFM/IFREMER Working Group on Shrimp and Groundfish, as main vehicle to bring the countries’ experts and managers, private sector and partner agencies together. The funding for this project originates from the IADB programme for Managing Regional Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems for Biodiversity Conservation.

More information on the project can be obtained from the Secretariat of WECAFC at: wecafc-secretariat@fao.org and on the overall programme from the IDB website.



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