The Nearshore Tropical Reef Fishery: A Hypothetical Case Study

From its tropical Caribbean waters to its lush interior jungle, this island nation is home to a rich variety of wildlife. The country’s warm climate, wildlife reserves, culture and warm people make it a vacation destination, supporting a booming tourism and ecotourism industry. The fishing industry is also a huge economic pillar of the island with local income heavily reliant on the export of marine resources.

While fishing is central to both the economy and culture of the island, there is a serious concern about depletion of finfish in its nearshore multi-species tropical reef fish fishery. Outside fishing pressure from nearby islands and other countries place additional and unaccounted-for stress on finfish populations. Fishermen on the island are fishing harder and harder, but catching less, so many fish long hours and extra days to compensate for their losses. Due to lack of capacity and resources, the island’s fishery managers face challenges when monitoring catch along the numerous ports and landing sites, making catch overages hard to track.

Over the years, the island has relied on data and management measures from surrounding islands but this data has proved unreliable for conducting a sound fishery assessments. Dedicated to assessing and sustainably managing the nearshore tropical multi-species reef fish fishery, the fishing community, government, tourism board and local NGOs have banded together to use the Framework for Integrated Stock and Habitat Evaluation (FISHE).

Click on Goal Setting in the left-hand panel to begin the case study and see how various stakeholders worked through the FISHE process.