Most of us in Barbuda go fishing at some time either as a full-time occupation, part-time or at holiday weekends. We fish to eat not for sport, although there are sports fishing tournaments, but we eat those fish too. Traditionally fishing is still done using labour intensive fish pots which are made from locally-gathered wattle sticks and wire, or by trammel net. Increasingly spear guns are now used. Lobster is often caught by hand with a wire lassoo and are one of our main exports several times a week mainly to the French Caribbean islands. Other fish are sold locally straight from the boat or sent to Antigua. We are lucky to have many tasty and edible varieties including barracuda, shark, grunt, old wife, hind, grouper and snapper.
The recent research done by Barbudans with Blue Halo (more below) indicates that chub/parrot fish and some others are in severe decline. Those wishing to fish should note that since the Blue Halo initiative began, Barbuda has implimented strictly observed no-fishing zones. This includes the Lagoon and some of the coastline. In addition lobster may not be caught or sold during May and June. In Barbuda anyone who does not observe the no-fishing zones or adhere to regulations regarding the size of conchs and lobster, or fails to buy a local licence to fish, will be liable for prosecution. So be advised by Council or contact one of the tour operators to take you out and refuse to buy under-sized or out of season lobster or conchs if you are offered them for sale.
- Permit required to fish in the coastal waters around Barbuda (within 5.55 km of shore).
- All catch or possession of parrotfish and sea urchins is prohibited.
- Catch of sharks is limited to traditional use. No export or finning.
- All fishing on any fish spawning aggregations is prohibited.
- All lobster and fish traps must include escape gaps to reduce bycatch.
- Use of nets is prohibited within 20 meters of reefs.
- Permits are required for placing artificial reefs, and prohibit fishing on these reefs.
- Fishing in Codrington Lagoon is prohibited except for line fishing from shore.
- Permits must be obtained prior to any mangrove or seagrass damage.
- A Coastal Management Advisory Committee and Parks Authority are established.
Further details of the various policies and legislation can be found here.