With the Guianan coasts being biodiversity hotspots for many species, coastal fisheries is an important part of the economy of the Guianas. However, the sector is not well managed, there is lot of over-fishing and illegal fishing (Illegal, unreported and unregulated- IUU) in neighboring coastal waters.
Fisheries and bycatch
The WWF Guianas program on Sustainable Fisheries relates to the program on Marine Turtles when it comes to bycatch of the turtles. A recent international study demonstrates Leatherbacks being vulnerable to international longline fisheries in the Atlantic and Southwest Indian Oceans.
WWF Guianas will help governments and fishermen in their quest for sustainability. As with Marine Turtles, the fisheries component of the program requires strong regional collaboration between governments and WWF Guianas sees her role accordingly.
The fisheries program from WWF Guianas started from the Marine Turtle bycatch program. Whilst looking at Marine Turtle bycatch it was realized there was also an important amount of bycatch of Marine mammals (for example the Dolphin) and of unwanted fish.
The Dolphin will be the first in the project on Marine Mammals, because it is a coastal species and sensitive to pollution from land (agricultural & mining) . The dolphin therefore serves as a good pollution indicator.