Fishing in St Lucia


About Fishing in Saint Lucia:

Fisheries in St. Lucia remain mostly artisanal, and the fishing industry is small compared to other industries.  Most of the fish is consumed locally, and fisheries resources are relatively underexploited, with the fish caught in St. Lucia meeting only half of the nation’s demand.  There is a negligible export market, and the bulk of imports are exotic seafood (smoked salmon, shrimp, scallops) and smoked/salted cod and herring (FAO 2000).

Open pirogues now outnumber the more traditional canoes, but both remain the most common vessels used in St. Lucia.  A small, local, non-mechanized longline fleet is beginning to develop (Anon 2001).

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the number of fishermen was estimated at 2020, and the number of registered vessels was 994

What fisheries exist in this territory?

The shallow reef-fish fishery occurs on or around shallow coral reefs and shallow shelves, and targets such species as hinds (Serranidae), parrotfish (Scaridae), squirrelfish (Holocentridae), triggerfish (Balistidae), snappers (Lutjanidae), and grunts (Pomadosydae).  Other minor, yet important, species caught in this area are lobsters, conch and sea urchins.

The deep slope (bank) fishery occurs near the edges of insular landmark areas or deep slopes, and targets species such as snappers (Lutjanidae), and groupers (Serranidae).  This fishery mainly targets red snapper.

The coastal pelagic fishery targets inshore pelagics such as jacks (Carangidae), herring (Clupeidae), silversides (Atherinidae) and ballyhoo (Hemiramphus sp.).

The offshore oceanic pelagic fishery targets large migratory species such as tunas (Scombroidei), billfish (Istiophoridae), dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus) and wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri).

The flyingfish fishery catches predominantly (over 95%) the four-winged flying fish (Hirundicthys affinis).