Enhancing the Resilience of Petite Martinique Fishers to the impacts of Climate Change, to protect livelihoods and improve food security
Enhancing the Resilience of Petite Martinique Fishers to the impacts of Climate Change, to protect livelihoods and improve food security
Petite Martinique’s main economic earner is fishing; it boasts of a thriving fishing industry that is responsible for all the fish exported to the European Union and over 80% of that which is exported to North America. The reef system and fishing grounds around Petite Martinique has been the supporting the livelihood of the islanders and its economy for generations. Maladaptive practices from unsustainable fishing, deforestation and over-grazing have resulted to erosion and siltation. In turn, the life of the reef system and coastal regions has been severely compromised. What used to be productive fishing grounds are now relatively dead areas with many of the reefs covered with algae. The parrot fish, which was once the pride of our reefs, has been either overfished or moved to less polluted areas. These conditions are exacerbated by climate change impacts and its variability such as rising sea levels and constant sea surges which have destroyed the coastal areas that once were fish nurseries. These factors have severely depleted the fish stock which the island depends on to maintain the European Market.

The island itself has contributed a lot to the destruction of the reef systems and coastal areas. Boat-building, being one of the main economic drivers of the islander, has led to the indiscriminate cutting of trees for timber and leaving some areas completed deforested. The island also has a large unchecked livestock population with many areas cleared for grazing resulting in many areas being over-grazed. These animals wreak havoc on the small farmers who are unable to purchase fencing to protect their crops. The droppings from the animals is also affecting the quality of our coastal water with a buildup nutrients which have led to beaches covered with algae thus affecting the growth of the reef system. The cutting of new roads which were left unpaved with no proper drainage has all contributed to the massive erosion taking place here. With tons of soil being washed into our coastal regions every year during the rainy season, many of the reefs, if not all, are covered with silt. Thus, deteriorating the fish population that depends on the reef system for food and shelter as well as the coastal regions with also acts as a habitat for the marine creatures.

The livelihood of many fisher folks has been disrupted with many been unable to adapt to the rapid change that is occurring as a result of the impacts of Climate change on the marine resources. In many instances, alternative fishing and fishing methods were introduced to compensate for the loss of the reef fish. These new fishing methods required new infrastructural systems such as ice and cold room facilities which are not available here; and as a result fishers have to travel to where ever it is to sustain their livelihood. The absence of such facilities has affected both the economic and social landscape of the island. As a result of fishers having to travel to other islands for fishing supplies and to find markets for their produce they tend to spend less time with their families. Some fishers at times live double lives resulting in them being unable to support their homes. The alternative fishing methods mainly FAD fishing and long lining for Tunas are aimed at relieving the stress off the reef system. With measures taken to address the issues of deforestation, over grazing and erosion together with alternative fishing will give the reef system chance to regenerate.

Climate change is likely to further aggravate long-term trends in damage and losses, thus placing coastal communities under intense pressure to secure their livelihoods and food security. The agricultural, coastal and marine resources sectors provide good examples of the connection between climate change and environmental degradation, particularly in small island communities, most of which have a high dependence on its natural resources. For example, the main economic activity of Petite Martinique being targeted by this project is centered on fishing. The limited availability of alternative livelihoods makes the island highly vulnerable to the impacts of Climate change and its variability.

The fisheries sector of Petite Martinique has suffered due to the degradation of coastal and marine ecosystems mainly- coral reefs and sea grass beds which are also responsible for the supply of biogenic sand and the protection of coastlines. The damage to these assets has resulted in a decline in fish and other marine species. In community consultations, many fisher-folk highlighted the decline in the quantity of fish and also linked it to the decline in ecosystem health. Traditional method of fishing is no longer a viable livelihood and alternative techniques have to be developed.

This project seeks to address the protection of livelihoods and food security of the Petite Martinique community by enhancing their adaptive capacity to the impacts of Climate change, its variability and at the same time, strengthening local level management of the marine resources. The impacts of deforestation and land degradation on our coastal ecosystems play a major role in the productivity of our reef systems. Since there is a direct relationship between land management and marine resources management the issue of sustainable land management is another component which will be funded by UNDP. This project will seek to address deforestation and land degradation. The training of farmers and community persons in sustainable land conservation and climate smart agricultural techniques will be conducted. Rain water harvesting for domestic and agriculture use together with the replanting of trees within the water sheds will also be addressed. Degraded areas will be restored with the use of grass and stone barriers together with contour drains and check dams to retain soil, moisture, control heavy run-off and aid in improving the fertility of the soil. These measures will reduce the pollution of the coastal waters and siltation of the reef system. Training in natural resources management will be conducted with the co-op to build the capacity of the group to better disseminate information on climate change issues and the best practices that will increase the communities’ resilience to climate change impacts and those of the ecosystems they rely on, thus enabling the community to put the necessary management structures in place to better manage its natural resources. This will put the co-op and community in a better position to manage the marine resources at the local level. The introduction of an ice making facility will further strengthen the ability of fisher-folk to adapt to the new techniques which are aimed at protecting livelihoods and improving food security. The construction and deployment of FADS (fish aggregating devices) is one of the objectives of this project. This sustainable method of fishing has already shown good results in fish catch, thus relieving the stress off the coastal reef systems.

Objectives are as follows:
1. To establish an ice making facility powered by a renewable energy source by October 2015
2. Enhancing the resilience of the fisheries sector by improving local level capacity for sustainable management of the marine resources, disaster risk reduction and adaptive capacity to the impacts of Climate Change.
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Project Snapshot

Petite Martinique Fishermen Co-Operative
Area Of Work:
Climate Change Mitigation
Grant Amount:
US$ 25,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 7,290.74
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 8,639.53
Project Number:
GRN/SIDS - CBA/15/01
Project Terminated Before Completion

Grantee Contact

Mr System Administrator


Petite Martinique
Petite Martinique , Grenada ,

SGP Country office contact

Ms. Kadijah Paula Edwards
Ms Akarda Ventour


P.O. Box 3486
St. George's