Fisheries management planning for the Grenada sea urchin fishery (2010)
The depletion of sea urchins around Grenada, caused mainly by heavy commercial fishing for an export market, prompted the closure of the fishery by the government over a decade ago. Since then there has been continuous illegal harvest and only modest recovery of urchin populations. This pattern is quite similar to that of the fisheries in Barbados and St. Lucia where the closures have not been for as long a period, but the fisheries have not been sustainable either. Pressure from resource users for the fisheries authority to open the fishery increased in 2008. Partly in response to this, but mainly as a continuance of its fisheries governance strategy, the Fisheries Division initiated a process for the participatory development of a fisheries management plan for the sea urchin fishery that would apply whether the fishery was opened or not. From April 2008 to mid-2009 there were surveys at sea to determine urchin distribution and abundance, workshops and meetings to share results with fishers and involve them in planning, and sessions of drafting followed by public consultation. This paper reports on the fisheries management planning process which may provide lessons applicable to similar situations.
Area of interest: Grenada