StewardFish: JAMAICA CARIBBEANSPINY LOBSTER VALUE CHAIN ANALYSIS REPORT
The artisanal lobster fishery in Jamaica is classified as “overfished”. It is under significant threat from illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU), a volatile global market environment and increasing unsustainable fishing practices by the artisanal fishers. Further, it operates as an open-access fishery due to low monitoring and enforcement of effort. Therefore, fishery profits are much less than can be achieved through more stringent controls of the number of trips and/or traps used. Approximately 25 percent of lobsters landed by the artisanal fisher go to export by large industrial fish processors, who export lobsters as a key part of their product line. The exporters sell lobster in a variety of forms including whole raw, frozen; whole cooked, frozen; live and tails, frozen. In 2019, frozen lobsters were exported mainly to France, United States and Hong Kong, respectively. The main Caribbean markets were Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, and Antigua and Barbuda, respectively. Approximately 75 percent of the lobsters landed by the artisanal lobster fishers go to the hotel and restaurant sector, as lobster is most popularly consumed on beaches, as street food (grilled, boiled or fried) and in local restaurants across the island. Lobsters are normally sold as whole, raw lobsters by the artisanal fishers, or as lobster tails. An excellent new initiative is the introduction of insurance for fishers in March 2021 by Sagicor. This covers group health and life insurance and includes dental, vision, drugs, primary-care, major medical (including surgery) and critical illness. This is a highly-commendable best practice, which reduces income risk and makes fishing a more attractive livelihood option.