“SIZE MATTERS” – ABACO CRAWFISH CAMPAIGN


Abaco Island, Bahamas

Campaign for Sustainable Fisheries ManagemenT

Here’s a report I’ve turned up, which may well be of interest from a crawfish conservation viewpoint. And it’s also an excuse to post the excellent campaign song, which needs no added comment from me – see video below. The campaign slogan is… a delight. The Rare Planet website is well worth a rootle round – click the link below

Campaign manager: D’Shan Maycock
Partner:  Friends of the Environment

“When D’Shan Maycock launched a Pride campaign to rally her community around protecting marine life off of Abaco Island, she didn’t necessarily imagine her slogan becoming part of the daily lexicon for fishers, students, international conservation organizations, and even the Prime Minister. But thanks to a catchy phrase – Size Matters – and the idea of the locally-treasured crawfish shrinking due to overfishing, her campaign has caught on everywhere.

Crawfish are an important species for the biodiversity of Abaco Island, providing 60% of the total commercial fish catch and sustenance for other marine life in the region. However, due to unsustainable fishing practices and lack of local awareness, each year’s crawfish yield declines in numbers, total poundage, and average size. D’Shan discovered a heavy incidence of illegal fishing of juvenile crawfish, as well as a dearth of the formerly large crawfish that lay many times more eggs. There are five national land and sea parks around the island, yet it is a challenge for law enforcement to manage every landing dock. Community support is critical.  So D’Shan has gotten creative.
Progress on the campaign…
  • • Secured pledges from local fishers not to catch juvenile crawfish under 5.5 inches – their yield monitored through a new certification process
  • • Built awareness among key influencers and the general public about the importance of protecting juvenile crawfish
  • • Garnered the attention and support of high profile players in the region, including The Nature Conservancy, which is interested in taking the certification process to other islands in the Bahamas, and the Bahamian Prime Minister, who at a recent All-Abaco Expo on Food Security, called out the slogan of the campaign and pledged ongoing support for fisheries protection.

To further explore this campaign, please visit our conservation community at RarePlanet.org.

(To whom thanks for this… but, hey guys, your ‘CONTACT’ page only gives long-distance phone numbers (wot no email?) Are you ok with me using this? If not please ring +44 763549390 between 19.00 and  21.00 and ask for ‘Tarquin’)

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