Fisheries play a crucial role to the Guianas economy and its people: with the provision of food security, employment, foreign exchange earnings and the development of both rural and coastal communities. This sector also makes an important contribution to the national GDP. In Guyana the national fisheries GDP contribution in 2017 was 2%, with a value contribution of GYD$ 11,434 million (PSC, 2018), while Suriname national GDP contribution was 3.5% with a value contribution of USD 816 Million (ABS 2018).
The fisheries of the Guianas are highly productive. However, the shrimp and white fish resources of the Guianas are considered overexploited. Unsustainable and illegal (artisanal and industrial) fishing practices have contributed to the depletion of marine resources. This includes overfishing, discards, and excessive bycatch of turtles, sharks and other endangered species. Fisheries enforcement regulations and management to turn the tide are still inadequate.
By 2025, a national fisheries database is developed, providing data on length frequency, catch and effort and license and registration information.
By 2025, a more regulated, reported and legal fishing practice in the Guianas- reduce Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported fishing.
By 2025, there is an improved fisheries management plan that ensures women and vulnerable groups are involved in the sector.
By 2021, a number of hectares of priority marine and coastal areas are identified. By 2025, improved fishing practices are included for fishing licenses.
By 2025, at least one new fisheries sector expresses interest in becoming Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified. By 2023, there is an increase in the use of C-TED on fish trawlers.
In Suriname we have achieved some early success, with the expression of interest from four companies (one sea food importer from the USA, one sea food processing company, and two fishing companies), in the Fisheries Improvement Project that will ultimately lead to MSC certification of bang bang (Cynoscion acoupa) and kandratiki (Cynosion virescens) fisheries in Suriname.