Bonefish & Tarpon Trust has been working with colleagues in Cuba since 2008. As in other locations, BTT’s goal is to help Cuban collaborators obtain the information they need to ensure healthy flats fisheries and habitats.
All of the recreational fishing concessions in Cuba occur in Marine Protected Areas or National Parks, where only catch and release fishing is allowed (plus some tightly regulated lobster harvest). The Cuban government uses this ‘closed areas’ approach for all of the fishing concessions. This is working well, but there are concerns that we share with our Cuban colleagues.
Outside of the protected flats fishing areas, there is only limited regulation. In many areas, fish are hard to find due to overfishing. This includes bonefish, tarpon, and permit. And there is little information on the harvest by these relatively unregulated fisheries. There is also limited information on the extent to which bonefish, tarpon, and permit that reside in the protected flats fishing areas migrate out of these areas and become targeted for harvest. Our Cuban collaborators need this information so they can revise fisheries management plans and initiate education programs.
Some of the projects:
We have other projects ongoing, and will continue to provide support to ensure healthy flats fisheries in Cuba for the future. We need your help.