According to Milton Haughton, Executive director of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) “Aquaculture in the Caribbean region contributes to one to two per cent of the total fish production, whereas in Asia and some other countries it’s 50 per cent.”
Aquaculture refers largely to the business of fish farming and if what Haughton reports is true, it may be the best way to tackle the severe problem of declining fish populations affecting many Caribbean fishermen.
“Now we have available new technologies and scientific advances that we need to use in order to ensure that we develop aquaculture, and ensure we develop it in a sustainable manner, because we have to pay attention to the ecological sustainability of aquaculture.”
The need for increased aquaculture emphasis arose during the recently concluded Caribbean Fisheries Forum.
Jamaica Broilers Big In the Business
One fine local aquaculture leader is Jamaica Broilers. The company boasts on its website of being “among the first commercial Tilapia producers in the region” – since 1983. It further classifies itself as “an industry leader,” “without peer in terms of our selective breeding programme, pond design, feed regimen and processing technology.”
Aquaculture’s Jamaica, as Broilers calls themselves, rears some 150 hectares (360 acres) of controlled freshwater ponds (Red-Tilapia). They have a processing facility that had a US$2 million upgrade (wonder what the total value is now) and an endless stream of US and international certifications.
Good going guys.