Fishery data collection and integration strategy for underpinning sustainable fisheries management in Montserrat

This project is a Territory to Territory partnership between the Falklands Islands Government Institute (SAERI) and the Government of Montserrat (GoM) to transfer knowledge and skills from the South Atlantic to the Caribbean. This skills and knowledge transfer will focus on information management and Marine Spatial Planning.

The project is facilitated by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC).

Project Manager



The fisheries of Montserrat have been reviewed recently by different groups highlighting the description of the fishery, stock, management and other characteristics. These reports highlight Montserrat’s relatively recent catastrophic natural disasters (volcanic related activities, tropical cyclones; extreme weather) from which much of the fishery today is still in a re-building phase.

Significant fishing infrastructure required to support fisheries in port areas are still being re-built, and fishers themselves are still adjusting to a significantly reduced fishing area around the Island. Other threats to the fishery are also recognised such as impacts of proposed coastal development, and long-term changes such as impacts of climate change on ocean temperature and its consequences on the reef ecosystem, and sea level rise.

The fishery of Montserrat plays a relatively small part in Island’s over-all economy, albeit it’s likely to be larger than currently considered. Despite this, the fishery plays a significant role in supporting food security for the nation as well as recognising a widely shared cultural value. There are currently several streams of data, review and advice feeding into the development of Montserrat’s fishery coming from various organisations with specific areas of expertise. The over-all aim of this project is to provide a consolidated view of these, and to develop a strategy for implementation of advice and protocols by the Government of Montserrat (GoM).

This strategy will focus on fisheries related data streams and management of current and new data. Specifically, the aims of this document are;

To summarise the strengths of the current data collection programs

To document the new developing programs for data collection and supporting legal and policy frameworks

To carry out a gap analysis of data collection and supporting processes, and identify key areas of development required for fishery sustainability evaluation

To provide a 5-year strategy for filling identified gaps and integrating data streams

By meeting the targets of the proposed strategy, the GoM will be able to assess fishery sustainability in a more robust, modern way. This strategy will also provide the tools for the GoM to report with confidence, the required local, regional and international fisheries data reporting obligations.


Biological training session © SAERI/JNCC

  • Two workshops were held in Montserrat as part of the Territory to territory partnership between the Falkland Islands and Montserrat. These were well attended by local stakeholders as well as international Caribbean delegates. A biological data collection training session was also conducted.
  • Development of an improved data collection protocol was initiated. All fisheries data is collected at the point of landing, and GoM data collectors were provided guidance and tools for more comprehensive and accurate data collection to support sustainable fishing.
  • An MSc student was supported to carry out the first economic evaluation of the fishery; the results suggested that the fishery is indeed much more valuable than originally thought.
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