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Monday, 18 March 2013 22:21

Trinidad and Tobago

Quick Facts:

  • Fisheries sector percentage contribution to GDP: 0.07 (2006, 2007, 2008)
  • Fish Production (metric tonnes): about 13,204 MT (2007)
  • Fish Production (value in national currency): about $TT 199.2 M (2007)
  • Fish Production, including aquaculture (metric tonnes): 13,209 MT (2007)
  • Fish Production, including aquaculture (value in national currency): $TT 199.3 M (2007)
  • Fish Imports (metric tonnes): 9,165 MT (2007)
  • Fish Imports (value in national currency): $TT 161.7M (2007)
  • Fish Exports (metric tonnes): 3,923 MT (2007)
  • Fish Exports (value in national currency): $TT 83.0 M (2007)
  • Per capita fish consumption: 14 kg
  • EEZ: (58,722 km2); Archipelagic waters (7,158 km2); Territorial Sea (9,337 km2)
  • Shelf area: (See Notes 1 & 2)
  • Fishing Area: EEZ
  • Number of landing sites: 85 sites (Trinidad-67, Tobago-32) (see Note 6)
  • Number of fishers: About 4,500 (2008 estimate)
  • Number of fishing vessels: About 2,000 (2008 estimate)
  • Fishing gear types: (see Notes 3,4,5)
  • Number of fish vendors/hawkers: (see Note 7)
  • Number of fish processors: No information available
  • Number of importers: 74 (Jan 2008 – Nov 2009)
  • Number of exporters: 56 (Jan 2008 – Nov 2009)
  • Area under aquaculture (hectares): 13
  • Number of aquaculture farms: 15
  • Number of aquaculture farmers: 15
  • Incentives to fishers and aquaculture farmers: Fishers:- Tax and duty free concessions on marine fuel, boats, engines, fishing gear and other related supplies. Aquaculture farmers:- For pond construction, 2 acres (water surface area), 25% of the cost of construction to a maximum of $TT 20,000.


  1. Trinidad lies 11.2 km from the northeastern peninsula of Venezuela. The continental shelf is a maximum of 100 nautical miles south, 35 nautical miles east and 27 nautical miles north of Trinidad. The shelf has a fairly even topography with no recognized canyon or submerged features.
  2. Tobago sits entirely on the shelf at a distance of 19 nautical miles from Trinidad. The shelf breaks at depths from 90-100 m with a slope which descends to depths of several thousand metres.
  3. Pirogues are primarily small wooden/fibreglass open boats of 7-9 m in length, propelled by outboard engines commonly 45-75 Hp. They are used for commercial and sport day fishing employing primarily handlines, also gill nets, palangue (small bottom longlines) and fish pots (traps). Similar vessels known as "bumboats" are used in Tobago.
  4. Multi-gear semi-industrial fleet consists of about 29 vessels 14-26 m in length; primarily fish pelagic and demersal species using longlines and fish pots and stay at sea from 7-15 days.
  5. Trawlers have been categorized into four types (see below) according to their lengths, engine horsepower and degree of mechanization. All trawlers are based in Trinidad. Shrimps (Penaeids) are the principal exploited species; finfish, crabs, and squid are caught as by-catch.
  6. Functional cold storage facilities are available at three (3) major fish markets. Port facilities to accommodate vessels exploiting the EEZ are available in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and to a lesser extent in Scarborough, Tobago.
  7. Generally the marketing of fish is undertaken in a very rudimentary manner. Most of the fish is marketed fresh and sold directly by the fishermen on the beach to private vendors, middle-men or to consumers. The private vendors sell the fish from small outlets in suburban areas and along the roadway.

Vessel Categories:

  • Type I: 6.7-9.8 m in length; usually two 45-75 Hp outboard engines; manually operated net (about 47 vessels);
  • Type II: 7.9 - 11.6 m in length; 90-150 Hp inboard diesel engine; single net/ manually operated (about 55 vessels);
  • Type III: 9.3 -12.2 m in length; 165-275 Hp inboard diesel; single net/ hydraulic winch; electronic fishing aids/ communication equipment (10 vessels);
  • Type IV: 10.9 – 23.6 m in length; 325-425 Hp inboard diesel engine; two nets/ hydraulic winch; electronic fishing aids/ communication equipment; some refrigeration (31 vessels).

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