This paper compares the status of fishing to farming in the Nariva Swamp, on the eastern coast of the island of Trinidad, in the country of Trinidad and Tobago. This swamp is one of international significance, since it is a home to the endangered animal, the manatee (Trichecus manatee). Also the swamp has a large population of two aquatic species of economic importance in Trinidad and Tobago - the armored cat-fish or cascadura (Hoplosternum littorale) and the ampulariid snail or black conch (Pomacea urceus). Residents of the area include in their diet the consumption of these species, as well as exploit them commercially. The paper is based on two surveys in the swamp, one was of 99 occupiers of plots, to determine their economic activities and the other survey was of 33 households, to determine the importance of fish from the swamp in their diets. The analysis in the paper showed that farming was now the dominant economic activity in the swamp, both in terms of income received as well as the amount of labor utilized. The residents did consume fish from the swamp, but this fish was not the major source of protein. Poultry and poultry products, especially chicken were the preferred protein sources. Farming was seen as a threat not only to fishing, but also to the native flora and fauna of the swamp and the paper called for urgent studies of the impact of such extensive farming on the ecology of the swamp.
Keywords. Nariva swamp, fishing versus farming, wetlands
Pemberton, C.A. and M.L. Fridie. Fishing Versus Farming in a Fresh Water Swamp in Trinidad in the Caribbean. In: Microbehavior and Macroresults: Proceedings of the Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, July 10-14, 2000, Corvallis, Oregon, USA. Compiled by Richard S. Johnston and Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET), Corvallis, 2001.