The Liamuiga Seamoss Group in St. Kitts and the Indian Castle Fisher Folk Association (ICFFA) in Nevis were both recently awarded small grants by the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) totalling US$52,820. The funding will support projects that would demonstrate seamoss farming as a viable, alternative livelihood in fishing communities. These small grants are a key component of the project, “Engaging Civil Society in CLME+ SAP Implementation” funded by the United Nations Development Programme and Global Environment Facility.
For small-scale fishing communities in the Caribbean, exploring alternative livelihoods is becoming increasingly important given the pressures, such as overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution and climate change, that are affecting the productivity of the region’s coastal and marine resources.
Over the last ten years, St. Kitts and Nevis has experienced fluctuations in fish production which have, at times, resulted in considerably smaller catches of conch, lobster and fish being landed. Small catches often directly impact the incomes of fishing households, as well as employment and food and nutrition security in fishing communities.YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN…
Stephen Moore, President of the ICFFA, noted “Smaller fish catches have affected fishers in Nevis, and as a result, fishers have had to find alternate ways to catch fish, such as using Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs). However, with using FADs, he said “fishers have to travel farther, which means more fuel, more navigation equipment and longer time at sea”.
In terms of using seamoss farming as an alternative livelihood, Moore highlighted “Seamoss farming relies on skills and equipment that fishers already possess, making it an easy transition for fishers.”
The small grants will also be used to improve the marketing and sale of seamoss and value-added seamoss products by strengthening the community-based small and micro enterprises (SMEs) operated by the Liamuiga Seamoss Group and the ICFFA.
President, Reiner Ferdinand, of the Liamuiga Seamoss Group, said that “The group has found seamoss farming to be worthwhile, as it is an income generating activity through which group members so far have been able to build some capacity with regards to operating a small business and is an opportunity to give back and support the community”. In regard to receiving the small grant he said, “We are very excited to receive the grant as it will assist with moving the group forward and will facilitate storage and manufacturing of our seamoss products at a faster rate.”
Both projects are expected to be completed by the end of October 2019. The groups will receive technical support to implement their projects from CANARI, the Department of Marine Resources (DMR), Department of Agriculture and SME mentors in St. Kitts and Nevis. These SME mentors have been trained by CANARI in strengthening natural resource-based enterprises under the European Unionfunded project “Powering Innovations in Civil Society and Enterprises for Sustainability in the Caribbean (PISCES)”.
About the project: The small grant programme to support demonstration of the ecosystems approach to fisheries and ecosystem-based management is a key output of the two-year (January 2017- December 2019) “Engaging Civil Society in CLME+ SAP Implementation” project. The project is being implemented by the CANARI as a co-executing partner under the five year (2015-2020) “Catalysing Implementation of the Strategic Action Programme for the Sustainable Management of shared Living Marine Resources in the Caribbean and North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystems” project (CLME+ Project) led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)/Global Environment Facility (GEF) to promote broader participation of, and contributions from, civil society groups in the implementation of the CLME+Strategic Action Programme. See here for more information on the project: http://www.canari.org/clme-csap
About CANARI: The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) is a regional, technical, non-profit organisation which has been working in the islands of the Caribbean for 30 years. Our mission is to promote equitable participation and effective collaboration in managing natural resources critical to development. Our programmes focus on research, sharing and dissemination of lessons learned, capacity building and fostering regional partnerships. See here for more information on CANARI: https://www.canari.org/.