Enhancing the Conservation Mechanisms of the Marine Ecosystems in Jamaica through Fisher-Controlled Sanctuaries
Enhancing the Conservation Mechanisms of the Marine Ecosystems in Jamaica through Fisher-Controlled Sanctuaries
Like many other countries, Jamaica’s efforts to manage coastal ecosystems have had extremely limited success. The primarily top-down management structures and some key laws which are practically unenforceable, have been ineffective in preserving the marine environment. While
communities are practically powerless to stop large scale impacts on marine resources, they can reduce stressors that are within their control to preserve their livelihoods. In Jamaica, it is fishers and persons who earn from tourism who are faced with this challenge. It now takes a fisher seven times more effort (as calculated in time, fuel and related costs) to catch the same amount of fish as his
grandfather did. These hardships push many families below the poverty line, with effects rippling through communities and across generations. The many thousands of families who rely on tourism as part of their livelihoods are also negatively impacted as researchers have estimated that each hectare of Jamaican reef that is in poor health costs the tourism industry up to US$1,043,210 in lost benefits per year (deGroot, et. al., 2012). Without concrete intervention strategies the environmental decline and associated social and economic impacts will continue - if not accelerate. Community-based marine protected areas are proving important tools to put coastal management decisions in the hands of local stakeholders with powerful environmental results. Working with key partners, the
project seeks to establish three new fisher-controlled fish sanctuaries in three high value, high use areas along Jamaica’s north coast.
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Project Snapshot

The Oracabessa Marine Trust
Area Of Work:
International Waters
Grant Amount:
US$ 149,450.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 349,530.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 113,250.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Gender Focus
A fisher-controlled fish sanctuary model will reflect the gender dynamics of each particular fishing community; to whatever extent women are involved in the workings of any particular fishing beach, they should be involved in the establishment of the protected area. Fishing is a male dominated industry and it is highly likely most community participants will be male. That said, the women do often play a critical role in the distribution and/or selling of fish. And women clearly play an important role in the households of local fishers. So in as much as a protected area is viewed as a community-based resource women will be important players in the process. The main contact with youth during a sanctuary set-up process comes through interaction with spear shooters. They are often younger than boat fishers. But in all honesty, their involvement in the project comes as a result of their relationship to the fishing area, not because of their age
Promoting Public Awareness of Global Environment
A functioning fisher/tourism partnership is the key to communication with other stakeholders. In both Oracabessa and White River, the weekly meeting of stakeholders directly involved in managing the sanctuary (ie: fishers and tourism interests) has led to the meetings becoming focal points for wide ranging discussions from many different interested parties. Fishers become adept at identifying local interests (ie: schools, community groups, etc) while tourism partners often identify business/professional groups (ie: JHTA, Chamber of Commerce, etc) as potential collaborators and/or donors.
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Hectares of globally significant biodiversity area protected or sustainably managed by project 450
Number of CBOs / NGOs formed or registered through the SGP project 3
Hectares of fishing grounds or marine protected areas sustainably managed by project 450
Number of individuals (gender diaggregated) who have benefited* from SGP project 300

Grantee Contact

Mr Inilek Wilmot
Phone: 876-366-9133
Email: inilekwilmot@gmail.com


Wharf Road
Oracabessa , St Mary ,

SGP Country office contact

Ms Hyacinth Y Douglas
(876) 978-2390-9 ext. 2030


1-3 Lady Musgrave Road
Kingston 5, LA and the Caribbean