Description of the project:

From September 2019 to May 2021, CANARI will collaborate 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  is 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  is being funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

CANARI’s work will contribute to  three of the project’s four core components , specifically:

  • Component 1: Develop organisational capacity for fisheries governance

Outcome 1.1: Fisherfolk have improved their organization capacity to meet objectives that enhance well-being

  • Component 2: Enhance ecosystem stewardship for fisheries sustainability

Outcome 2.1 Increased participatory Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF) application with focus on healthier habitats and pollution reduction

  • Component 3: Secure sustainable livelihoods for food and nutrition security

Outcome 3.1: Livelihoods throughout fisheries value chains balance development with conservation for food and nutrition security

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

Graphic: StewardFish project Framework. Courtesy the FAO


Key outputs and activities:

The activities for which CANARI will be taking the lead   will contribute to achieving these high-level outcomes through the following specific outputs and activities:

Leaders with strengthened capacity in management, administration, planning, sustainable finance, leadership and other operational skills      

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 (NFOs)/lead primary fisherfolk organisations (PFOs) in their respective countries. 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.

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 is 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 which will run from November 2020 to April 2021. See list of organisational strengthening microgrant projects here.

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 and NFOs to assess gaps in and recommend priorities to improve support for fisherfolk organisations and their role in stewardship in the 7 target countries. Assessment reports are currently being refined for finalisation based on stakeholder feedback.

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) will be  mentored and trained to better engage in coastal management at the local level (e.g. in marine protected area, marine management area, and other coastal and management processes). CANARI will support fisherfolk organisations in each country with designing simple concepts for practical ecosystem stewardship projects and provide microgrants to support implementation of the projects designed.

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. Using the findings from this analysis three profiles highlighting best practices of Caribbean fisherfolk pursuing complementary or alternative livelihoods were developed:

Use of local fish in healthy diets promoted through public policies and private enterprises 

Participatory analyses of fisheries value chains are currently being 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, fisheries value chains in 3 countries were selected for focused analysis:

  • Caribbean Spiny Lobster – Jamaica
  • Dolphinfish – Barbados
  • Queen Conch – St. Vincent and the Grenadines

National validation webinars were organised and facilitated for each of the three countries in August 2020. Country reports for each value chain analysis are currently being prepared.

A report on the examination of public policy and private sector purchasing practices of seafood to improve consumption and intra-regional trade is also being prepared based on desk study research and interviews with key stakeholders.

StewardFish partners

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Related publications


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