Description of the project:

From September 2019 to July 2021, CANARI collaborated with the Caribbean ICT Research Programme (CIRP), Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organisations (CNFO), Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies of the University of the West (UWI-CERMES), Western Central Atlantic Fisheries Commission (WECAFC) and the fisheries authorities of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, and Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines to implement the StewardFish project.

StewardFish was aimed at implementing the 10-year Strategic Action Programme for the Sustainable Management of the Shared Living Marine Resources of the Caribbean and North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystems (CLME+ SAP) within seven CRFM Member States (Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines) by empowering fisherfolk  throughout  fisheries  value-chains  to engage in  resource  management,  decision -making  processes  and  sustainable  livelihoods  with  strengthened  institutional  support   at  all levels. The project was funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

See here for more information on CANARI’s work under StewardFish .

Key results:

1. Leaders with strengthened capacity in management, administration, planning, sustainable finance, leadership and other operational skills
o Mentoring: CANARI trained 7 mentors and 7 fisherfolk leaders from the 7 target project countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines) to conduct fisherfolk organisational capacity needs assessments, using the PISCES organisational capacity assessment tool, and provide fisherfolk organisational strengthening to the national fisherfolk organisations in their respective countries. See the rerport of the StewardFish Caribbean Fisherfolk Mentors Training Workshop here. Using the training provided, mentors conducted organisational assessments with their mentee fisherfolk organisations and a capacity building approach for the fisherfolk organisations and mentoring programme to be delivered by the in-country mentors were designed by CANARI to address priorities identified in the organisational needs assessment reports.

o Microgrants: Microgrants were also provided to the fisherfolk organisations in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Guyana, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines to implement pilot capacity building projects to address priority needs identified in their organisational needs assessments. On July 1, 2020 CANARI launched the call for applications for the USD20,000 StewardFish Microgrants Scheme for Caribbean Fisherfolk Organisations. The overall goal of the microgrant scheme was to provide support to Caribbean fisherfolk organisations for organisational strengthening initiatives that will enhance their capacity to participate in coastal and marine resources governance and management, including ecosystem stewardship. The targeted fisherfolk organisations successfully submitted proposals to the microgrant scheme and were each awarded a USD4,000 microgrant for their projects Projects were implemented between November 2020 to June 2021. See reports from fisherfolk organisational strengthening projects: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Guyana, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

2. State agency implementation gaps assessed regarding support for fisherfolk organisations and their role in stewardship
Institutional analyses and organisational assessments were conducted with key fisheries-related state agencies to assess gaps and recommend priorities to improve support for fisherfolk organisations and their role in stewardship in the 7 target countries. See country reports: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

3. Increased participatory Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF) application with focus on healthier habitats and pollution reduction
Fisherfolk leaders from six countries (Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines) were mentored and trained to better engage in coastal management at the local level. CANARI, with the support of in-country technical stewardship mentors, supported fisherfolk organisations in each country with designing simple concepts for practical ecosystem stewardship projects. Microgrants totalling US$24,000 were provided to the fisherfolk organisations to implement their stewardship projects. The projects supported included actions to build the capacity of fisherfolk to utilise fish waste, manage sargassum influxes and participate in coral reef restoration and monitoring.  See reports of the six projects: Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines

4. Schemes for sustainable fisheries livelihoods reviewed in order to learn from them and adapt future activities
Past and current fisheries-related livelihoods and socio-economic projects in the Caribbean were analysed in order to learn about achievements and issues from fisherfolk perspectives. The report from the analysis can be viewed here.  Key findings and recommendations from the report are summarised in a policy brief and presentation.

Additionally, three profiles highlighting best practices of Caribbean fisherfolk pursuing complementary or alternative livelihoods were developed:
 Paula Jacob Williams: A woman advocating for sustainable fisheries and alternative livelihoods that support women in the fisheries sector (Belize)
 Tylon Joseph: A young fisher driven to be a good steward for the environment (Grenada)
 Leslie Alexander: From fisher to coast guard: A fisher’s venture into the Coast Guard service (Saint Lucia)

5. Use of local fish in healthy diets promoted through public policies and private enterprises
Participatory analyses of fisheries value chains were conducted with fisherfolk, private sector agencies, and fisheries authorities to map opportunities for additional marketing and distribution of current and new seafood products, especially consistent with childhood nutrition. Based on desk study research and information provided by country focal points in each of the 7 target countries, the Caribbean Spiny Lobster, Dolphinfish and Queen Conch fisheries value chains in Jamaica, Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines respectively were selected for focused analysis. National validation webinars were organised and facilitated for each of the three countries in August 2020. See the value chain analysis reports here:
Caribbean Spiny Lobster – Jamaica
Dolphinfish – Barbados
Queen Conch – St. Vincent and the Grenadines
A report and policy brief examining public policy and private sector purchasing practices to improve consumption and intra-regional trade of seafood for the Caribbean small-scale fisheries were also prepared based on desk study research and interviews with key stakeholders.

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For more information, contact Melanie Andrews, Technical Officer, at [email protected]

Photo: Participants of StewardFish Mentors Training Workshop held in 2019 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Credit: CANARI.