© Roger Leguen / WWF

Ocean Practices


The importance of the fishery sector is reflected in its contribution to Suriname’s economic sector. In 2015, the total catch from vessels operating in Surinamese waters was 31.852 tons fish and 6.821 tons shrimp. Over the last decade, the fisheries sector has become increasingly important and currently represents 2.3% of GDP. Though total fish and shrimp capture has been fluctuating, higher international market prices have resulted in higher values of production and exports for the sector (Derlagen et.al, 2013). This study describes the socio-economic characteristics of fisheries in Suriname with representation of local fishing communities within the coastal districts, demographic and socio-cultural characteristics. 
It has been done within the context of the project: Promoting Integrated and Participatory Ocean Governance in Guyana and Suriname: the Eastern Gate to the Caribbean, which is funded by the European Union and is a partnership between World Wildlife Fund Guianas, Nature Conservation Division in Suriname, Protected Areas Commission in Guyana and Green Heritage Fund Suriname.

Ocean Practices

The highly productive seas off the Guianas have muddy nutrient rich waters fed by the Amazon and the North flowing rivers of the region. The resulting fisheries represent a substantial and very valuable source of food, employment, income, recreation and foreign exchange for our countries. There is also a wealth of other marine life including significant estuarine dolphin populations, manta rays, whales, whale sharks, and four species of marine turtles. Green and leatherback turtles nest in very large stable numbers on Guianas beaches, making the Guianas a critically important marine turtle nesting area for these species. Olive ridleys have greatly declined since the sixties but are making a comeback in French Guiana.

To ensure fish recuperation zones, WWF promotes participatory marine and coastal spatial planning with fishing communities, building support for sustainable management and preservation of key nurseries, mangroves and spawning aggregation sites. Anticipated outcomes from the multi-stakeholder engagements include:
  • Support for sustainable fisheries management plans in Guyana and Suriname;
  • Protect marine turtles, dolphins, sharks and rays by reducing bycatch, encouraging wildlife tourism, and ensuring turtle nesting beach protection – see box below.
  • Expand Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Certification
  • Reduce illegal, unregulated and undocumented (IUU) fishing via a vessel monitoring system and enhance enforcement capacity for government agencies in French Guiana;
  • Build a permanent financing mechanism for enhanced management of new MPAs
	© Roger Leguen / WWF
Roger Leguen / WWF
© Roger Leguen / WWF