Annual, coastal and seasonal variation in Grenadian demersal fisheries (1986–1993) and implications for management
Abstract:I examined trends in the exploitation of demersal reef fishes in Grenada from 1986 to 1993 to determine if the Island's reef fishery resources were declining. I show that mean monthly catch per unit effort of groupers and snappers declined with increasing fishing intensity during the study period, suggesting overfishing. Mean monthly yields of other less desirable stocks remained constant but were never more than 3% of the total demersal yield. Mean yields of all fishes except snappers were higher on the east coast than on the west coast and were higher for all fishes during July to November than December to June. Tourism and the Island's population increased during the same period, were inversely correlated with annual yields of demersal fishes, and may have driven fishery harvest. Although demersal reef fishes comprised only 7% of Grenada's fishery harvest, they are important sources of food and income to local fishers. Declining demersal catches may not be critical at present, but the absence of groupers and large snappers from coral reefs in more economically developed islands (e.g., Barbados, Bermuda, and U.S. Virgin Islands) suggests that the fate of Grenada's demersal fisheries may be similar if observed trends continue. Regulations are necessary to sustain Grenada's demersal fisheries.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 2000
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