The role of fisheries in the sustainable development in small island economies: a case study of Tobago Public Deposited

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  • For small island developing states in particular, the fisheries sector plays a critical socio-economic role. It is commonly accepted that the marine resources available to island states can, if properly utilised, significantly contribute to the sustainable development of the region. It has been further argued that it is the specific development of artisanal as opposed to industrial fisheries that is the key to sustainable social and economic development. Despite small percentage contributions to aggregate GDP, there are substantial, indirect non-economic benefits derived. The marine fisheries sector of Trinidad and Tobago, although relatively small in comparison to the other sectors of the economy, makes a significant contribution to the national economy in terms of employment, nutrition and in general to the stability it gives to the rural communities of the islands. However, the increasingly intense exploitation of the marine fishery resources of the islands and the increasing pressure on the coastal and marine environment that supports all economic activity in the economy continues to lead to the decline of marine fishery resources. A significant number of the communities of Tobago lie along the coast of the small island, with the people of Tobago relying heavily on the activities of tourism, agriculture and fisheries for their livelihood. The presence of coral reefs in particular within the waters of Tobago enhances its tourism product and facilitates an abundance of marine life. One of the challenges facing Tobago is the sustainable management of their reef fishery resources in the context of many competing demands. This study seeks to review the role of fisheries in the sustainable development of small island economies, to investigate the economic significance of reef related fisheries to the coastal communities of Tobago in particular and to suggest alternative management structures to best facilitate the goal of sustainable development.
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  • James, Ronald and Sonja Teelucksingh. 2008. The role of fisheries in the sustainable development in small island economies: a case study of Tobago. In: Proceedings of the Fourteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, July 22-25, 2008, Nha Trang, Vietnam: Achieving a Sustainable Future: Managing Aquaculture, Fishing, Trade and Development. Compiled by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, 2008.
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