From July 2020 to March 2023 the United Kingdom (UK) Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries within the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture of the Government of the Virgin Islands, and the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) will collaborate to implement the project “Capacity building in fisheries evidence, networks and management in the British Virgin Islands”.  

The £317,000 project is being funded by the UK Government’s Darwin Initiative

Project goal:

The goal of the project is to enhance sustainable management of fisheries in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). It will focus on strengthening fisherfolk capacity, governance, infrastructure and skills, including the capture, storage, analysis and interpretation of fisheries data. This will be achieved by creating a formalised network of fisherfolk, reviewing and consolidating the existing evidence base, and developing a geographic information systems (GIS) database to bring together existing and future fisheries data.

PHOTO: Fish in coral reef. Credit: BVI National Trust

Key activities:

The project has four components that will be implemented to achieve its goal:

  1. Strengthening fisherfolk capacity and governance: This will strengthen fisherfolk’ capacity and support the development of a formalised network of fisherfolk to enable a collective voice and greater participation in decision-making.  Capacity building activities will include training, fisherfolk learning exchanges and providing small grants to fisherfolk to demonstrate best practices and innovations in sustainable fisheries management. See brief on Component 1 here.
  2. Fisheries evidence report: This will involve reviewing and collating all available, relevant fisheries evidence for BVI’s marine area, including local and scientific knowledge, and producing maps for use in future fisheries and marine management. An up-to-date, comprehensive evidence report will be developed to inform future licensing and management and identify key evidence gaps.
  3. Fisheries evidence database: This will focus on creating a centralised GIS fisheries database to host all evidence relevant to the marine area which will integrate all existing fisheries data including spatial data. The skills needed to produce, interrogate, visualise and analyse the data will also be transferred to the Government of the Virgin Islands to support future use and maintenance of the fisheries evidence base going forward.
  4. Knowledge transfer and institutional capacity building: This will build the capacity within the Government of the Virgin Islands to develop and manage the fisheries evidence base. Knowledge transfer and capacity building will be delivered throughout the project through in-country workshops, production of tailored guides and training materials and training and handover of the GIS database and the fisheries evidence report.


CANARI will lead implementation of Component 1 in collaboration with the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organisations (CNFO), while Cefas will lead Components 2-4.  For additional information about the overall project visit the Cefas webpage at or contact the project Rachel Mulholland (E-mail: [email protected] ; Telephone: +44 1502 524280/+44 7747 455122.




Recent news and blogs:

CANARI works with partners to strengthen fisherfolk networks and governance in the BVI

New £317,000 project launched on sustainable fisheries management in the Virgin Islands

The Government of the Virgin Islands has partnered with the UK Government for Sustainable Fisheries Management in the Virgin Islands with the launch of a new £317,000 project