BVI News

Fishers get help to fight sargassum

As the territory continues to be affected by sargassum, local fisherfolk are set to benefit from two pilot projects aimed at managing the seaweed which continues to visit the territory annually.

The pilot projects — which will run for the rest of this year — will also focus on reducing ghost fishing, which occurs when abandoned gears trap fish and prevent them from thriving and replenishing.

The projects are being funded under the Darwin Plus scheme — a UK government grants scheme that funds projects that aim to protect the unique biodiversity and improve resilience to climate change within the UK Overseas Territories.

The first pilot project is set to support the local construction of a low-cost, reusable boom which can serve to deflect sargassum from Setting Point on the southern coast of the island of Anegada.

The mangrove-lined southern coastline of Anegada is an area of importance to the local fishing community since it serves as a nursery area for fish. It also serves as an anchorage for fishing and non-fishing vessels. During heavy sargassum inundations, the quality of the water on the south coast of Anegada is significantly affected, resulting in fish kills and migration of turtles from the area.

Under the pilot project, local fisherfolk will work with other project stakeholders to construct, install and monitor the effectiveness of the re-useable boom with the aim of reducing impacts on biodiversity, livelihoods and health caused by sargassum influxes at Setting Point.

The second pilot project will test an electronic trap recovery system to reduce gear loss and ghost fishing in the Virgin Islands’ pot and trap fisheries.

In the Virgin Islands, pots and traps are set to catch both reef fish and lobster, but sometimes get lost and end up unintentionally trapping fish and other marine life.

Under the pilot project, 20 fishers from the pot and trap fisheries in the Virgin Islands will be engaged to try the use of an electronic fishing trap recovery system to improve the location and retrieval of pots and traps that have lost their primary marker buoy.

Both pilot projects will report and share results, lessons learned and recommendations on the potential for replication and upscaling.

Other organizations involved in the pilot projects include the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) and the Virgin Islands Department Agriculture and Fisheries.


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  1. Concerned. says:

    Though the so called ghost fishing is a matter of concern, beaware of who is pushing the narrative.

    And, there are materials that can be used to address that issue, even while around the world said materials have never been challenged.

    Ever since the advent of tourism and the yachting industry, there have been attempts, some successfully, to prevent and stop locals from fishing using their long established methods. In fact, stopping them from feeding their families.

    This is the same source that indirectly brought about the banning of fish guns and others, while all over the USA, UK and the world, the fishgun has not, never been touched, the fish pot has never been stopped..

    Nonetheless, our elected officials bought the advices hook line and sinker, for a fee probably, more than likely.

    So, beware of who is pushing the narrative. You could find your life becoming very difficult to put food on the table.

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  2. Details says:

    Please tell us the exact number of active commercial fisher persons in the BVI who will benefit from these 2 programs.

    It seems that commercial fishing in BVI waters is a nearly dead activity. Lots of amateur, private sport and pot fishers but no visible active commercial fishers with modern ocean going boats.

  3. smart , but says:

    maybe y’all do same for fkn hotels that drive 10x $ for economy as the sht on beach smell like a**

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  4. TTSTL says:

    The fisher folk tire of this weed.
    Their fishing, they say, won’t succeed.
    So what’s the solution,
    To nature’s pollution?
    Let’s hope its not founded in greed.

  5. Basic common sense says:

    Create employment and hire the locals that is seeking employment to clean up the sargassum from the shorelines and have somewhere to dump or burn the sargassum. On a recent trip to Mexico the hotel I was staying had the same problem and they have workers on the beach and shore line with huge garbage bags and rakes cleaning up the sargassum and hauling it away to an area to be disposed.What is so hard about that. If you can’t hire people to do it, then go up to the prison and have the low level inmates do it. They are living free of charge on the hard working taxpayers dime. Let them earn their keep.

  6. vg resident says:

    You can buy a beach cleaning machine and John Deere tractor to pull it. works very well and can clear 9 acres per day.


    Its a good idea / but We know them guy don’t like to work , so you will just be insulting them , ( and what you gonna do lock them up again, you forget they would rather be on Facebook showing off their gold chains and rings ) plus they already know they are entitled to free tea breakfast and dinner / chill out , like on a block , shoot some hoops and enjoy the beautiful view of the sea , nice clean fresh air / you will be told ( I don’t do dah kinda wuk mehson ) with some dutty words behind it

  8. Dear fisher folks says:

    Do not play into or be fooled into the BS.Be very aware of who is pushing the narrative.

    Like 1
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  9. Okay says:

    Please tell us the reason why current local commercial fisherfolk do not invest in modern fishing vessels.

    I understand that pot fishing is just one method of fishing. Our communities have experienced pot, line and net commercial fishers in the Virgin Islands.

    Commercial fishing is not dead, nor is it dying. I understand through fisherfolk that every day can be a fishing day, but not every day is a catching day. There are also fisherfolk that only want to catch specific species of fish because of customer preference or only use one method of fishing versus a variety of methods. So it is on the fisher and other factors if he/she will have food on their table or money in their pocket.

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