24 November 2021
World Fisheries Day is observed on 21 November and is dedicated to highlighting the critical importance of healthy marine ecosystems, and ensuring sustainable stocks of fish within the world’s oceans. It also aims to highlight the importance of fisheries to communities and the role they play in many people’s livelihoods.
Fisheries for St Helena is hugely important as a livelihood for many and provides food security for the Island. In line with the principles of our Category VI IUCN Marine Protected Area, it is important we manage our fisheries sustainably to allow the Island’s fishing activities to continue now and for future generations.
To coincide with World Fisheries Day this year, St Helena Government (SHG) has received Fisheries Advice Reports from the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), delivered as part of the UK Government’s Blue Belt Programme and Darwin Initiative. The Reports follow an extended period of monitoring and data collection by SHG’s Marine and Fisheries Conservation Section, who have been assisted in collecting this important information by local fishers and volunteers.
The Reports have assessed the current status of the fish stocks and provide recommendations for managing a variety of species such as tuna, grouper, baitfish, groundfish (bullseye, soldiers), lobster and conger. These recommendations are considered by SHG and help to inform fishing licences which are renewed each calendar year.
The recommendations include measures such as total allowable catch limits for species, minimum landing sizes and restrictions on fishing during certain periods of the year. The aims of these restrictions help to ensure that we do not take too many fish, catch them when they are too small, or when they are reproducing in order to help maintain a healthy population.
The Marine and Fisheries Conservation Section would like to thank everyone for their help in collecting the information, returning tags or providing their knowledge, as well as Cefas for the production of the Reports. The Reports can be requested from the Section if anyone would like to know more about these species on St Helena.
24 November 2021