Rebuilding Cuban Fisheries

Goliath Grouper and Diver. Photo by Noel López Fernández

Oceans 5 supports Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) work with Cuba partners to rebuild fish populations and promote sustainable fisheries that support vibrant coastal economies and healthy marine environments in Cuba.

Overfishing in Cuba is threatening once pristine coral reef systems and thriving fish populations. Commercial fisheries are critical to the economy and food security, but managers often require additional data and expertise to set science-based measures—and fishing is on the rise to meet a spike in demand for fresh seafood from the booming tourism sector. Moving forward, any strategy to secure healthy and resilient marine ecosystems in Cuba will require getting fisheries right and strengthening Cuba’s impressive network of MPAs.

With EDF’s support, Cuba has embarked on a path toward science-based fishery management aimed at increasing food production and improving fishing livelihoods. EDF is collaborating with Cuban agencies, research centers, seafood enterprises, NGOs and fishing communities to: (i) improve fisheries science and build technical capacity; (ii) create strong management institutions and political and stakeholder support at every level (national, provincial, local); and (iii) promote and facilitate key policy and rule changes that will result in science-based and community-based fisheries plans and programs. EDF coordinates their work on sustaining fisheries with Wildlife Conservation Society and Cuban institutions to ensure that Cuba’s impressive network of MPAs is well-managed, financed, and integrated with fisheries management programs.