Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

Saint Lucia Flyingfish fishery
Fishery  Fact Sheet
Fishery Resources Report 2016
Saint Lucia Flyingfish fishery
Fact Sheet Citation  
Flyingfish fishery
Owned byFood and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – more>>

Overview: Traditionally, flyingfish (Hirundichthys affinis) have been targeted by many Saint Lucia fishers. Early technology comprised the use of a shallow dip net (locally known as a “kali”) to scoop up flyingfish found in aggregations or attracted by some form of artificial raft (often banana leaves tied to the vessel). Finely chopped fish (“fresh”) was often thrown into the sea as an added attraction. This methodology is still in use today; however, surface handlines (with single hooks) and surface gillnets are also commonly used.

Location of Saint Lucia Flyingfish fishery

Geographic reference:  Saint Lucia
Spatial Scale: National
Reference year: 2014
Approach: Fishing Activity

Fishing Activity
Fishing Gear: Encircling gillnets  

Type of production system: Artisanal
Fishery Area: Saint Lucia

Seasonality: October to July …

Harvested Resource
Target Species: Fourwing flyingfish
Associated Species: Margined flyingfish

Means of Production
Vessel Type: Other fishing vessels
Fishery Indicators
Nominal Effort: Number of vessels
Employment: Number of fishermen
Production: Landed Volume; Landed Value

Fishing Activity
Type of production system: Artisanal   

Fishery Area
Bottom type: Unspecified.   Depth zone: Coastal (0 m - 50 m).   Horizontal distribution: Oceanic.   Vertical distribution: Pelagic.  

Saint Lucia: Northwest and Southeast coasts. Fishing is conducted up to 15 miles offshore.

Geo References
Fishing Gear
Encircling gillnets
Handlines and hand-operated pole-and-lines
Surface handlines (with single hooks), surface gillnets used to encircle fish are set off the boat to drift. Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) used comprising of an artifical raft constructed of banana leaves and the release of finely chopped fish remains in the water, shallow hand-operated dipnet are used to scoop the flyingfish.
Vessel Type
Other fishing vessels
Undecked - pirogue; canoe or shaloop; sizes range from 5 and 9 m in length; engine capacity from 40 and 250 Hp (outboard).

Catch Handling and Processing Equipment
About 3
Flag State
Saint Lucia
Related Fisheries - Fishery(ies) switching activity seasonally or targeting the same stock
Saint Lucia Lobster fishery
Saint Lucia Large pelagic fishery
October to July (peaks in December to February and May to June).

Environmental limitations

The presence of invasive Sargassum in some years may have resulted in decline in catches.
Gros Islet, Castries, Anse La Raye, Canaries, Choiseul, Laborie and Soufriere are the main landing sites for this fishery.
Trip Duration
1 day
Fisherfolks Community
Saint Lucia nationals
List of fishery Indicators
Fishery Indicators
TypeMeasureValueUnitTime period
Nominal EffortNumber of vessels 335 (208 pirogues - 105 canoes - 22 shaloops)vessels2007
Number of vessels 695 (549 pirogues - 73 canoes - 26 shaloops - 47 transom)vessels2014
EmploymentNumber of fishermen 1005Persons2007
Number of fishermen 1346Persons2014
ProductionLanded Volume 75tonnes2003
Landed Volume 11tonnes2004
Landed Volume 72tonnes2005
Landed Volume 30tonnes2006
Landed Volume 46tonnes2007
Landed Volume 251tonnes2008
Landed Volume 220tonnes2009
Landed Volume 109tonnes2010
Landed Volume 22tonnes2011
Landed Volume 107tonnes2013
Landed Volume 85tonnes2014
Landed Value 96 212USD2007
Landed Value 548 599USD2008
Landed Value 448 299USD2009
Landed Value 222 819USD2010
Landed Value 54 266USD2011
Landed Value 753598.83XCD $2013
Landed Value 617953.56XCD $2014
Post Harvest
Management unit: Yes

Jurisdictional framework
Management Body/Authority(ies): Fisheries Department of Saint Lucia
Area under national jurisdiction: Saint Lucia
Maritime Area: Exclusive Economic Zone Areas (EEZ).  
Management Body/Authority(ies): Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM)
Area under national jurisdiction: Saint Lucia
Maritime Area: Exclusive Economic Zone Areas (EEZ).  
Management Regime
“The Plan for Managing the Fisheries of St. Lucia (1999) highlights sustainability of the fishery as the primary management objective for the flyingfish fishery. It also notes that the selection of specific management options for this fishery should be largely dependent on development of a sub-regional approach to management of this shared stock. The plan also includes the provision of support to sub-regional initiatives aimed at establishing a sub-regional management plan for the fishery and improving the local collection of catch/effort and biological data relevant to the fishery. Constraints on implementing such actions in the short term include the shortage of manpower and finances faced by the Department of Fisheries and the need for a sub-regional mechanism to effect such management of shared stocks.”
Management Methods

Fisheries Act (No. 10 of 1984) and Fisheries Regulations (No. 9 of 1994) which are based on the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) harmonized legislation. Plan for Managing the Fisheries of St. Lucia (1999); - Binding

Fishery is largely open-access; mesh size is regulated; minimum mesh size of 19.05 mm is applied to all nets; use of gillnets is prohibited in the Soufriere Marine Management Area.
  • Gear-related measures
    Mesh size is regulated - minimum mesh size of 19.05 mm is applied to all nets - use of gillnets is prohibited in the Soufriere Marine Management Area.
  • Vessel-related measures
    Vessel licensing system in effect.
  • Fishing activity-related measures
    Sport fishery licensing system in effect; implementation of ongoing programmes to train fishers in methods related to safety at sea.
Source of Information
Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, Food Production, Fisheries, Co-operatives and Rural Development, Saint Lucia. Personal communication, January 2016. Click to open
CRFM. 2012. Report of the First Meeting of the CRFM/WECAFC Working Group on Flyingfish in the Eastern Caribbean, 18 – 19 June 2012, St. Vincent and the Grenadines CRFM Technical and Advisory Document, No. 2012/12. 85 pp. Click to open
Census of the Fisheries Sector in Saint Lucia. 2012.
Hubert-Medar, P. National Report of Saint Lucia. pp. 33-36 in: FAO Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission. Report of the Third Meeting of the WECAFC Ad Hoc Flyingfish Working Group of the Eastern Caribbean. Mount Irvine, Tobago, 21–25 July 2008. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Report. No. 929. Rome, FAO. 2010. 88 pp. Click to open
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