Monday, September 26, 2011

No reason that Antigua's fishers can't go off shore.

When speaking about sustainable fishing and specificially about fishing for pelagic species, the people representing the commercial fishermen of Antigua and Barbuda keep saying that fishermen here in Antigua and Barbuda don't have big enough boats. I have been saying that this isn't true for years because I see little pirogues from most of the English speaking islands to our south way out in the Atlantic off shore fishing for deep sea species. Hell, when i was 16 years old I would take our little 40 hp powered boat fishing way offshore and to Barbuda. Things have changed a bit for us since then:

Also as mentioned time and time again in my blogs, we see small Guadeloupean and St. Barts boats in our waters fishing too. Click this blog to see what i am speaking about. See how the boys from St. Barts catch pelagic fish easily from small boats in this video:

Recently one of our friends who fishes all season long here in the deep waters off shore took one of Antigua's smallest commercial fishing boats out 25 miles east of Antigua to fish on one of the Guadeloupean FADs. These photos below were taken by someone on our open boat between storms and trust me, it wasn't nearly as calm getting there or getting back. They ended up with about 300 lbs of tuna and mahi mahi.
The time for fishing sustainably on and almost collapsed inshore fishery should be at an end and we need to encourage fishers to move to more sustainable methods. Click here for more on sustainable fishing. 
Here is a photo taken from their boat:
As you can see: the boat isn't big at all. In fact, the wide angle camera shot makes the boat look way way bigger.