Developing ocean literacy and biodiversity stewardship among small-scale fishers

This project was developed in consultation with the fishing communities of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI). Important guidance came from a past commercial fisher who now works as an Enforcement Officer for the Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources Management. He stated that many of the fishers and fish workers do not really understand the reasoning behind the fisheries regulations and how those rules link to the biology and ecology of the species and their habitats. This was confirmed by fishers who often repeated that the rules were there just to make fishing more difficult. FisherFolkFirst, a non profit organisation registered in the TCI, started working with fishers, fish workers and the TCI government to develop education and outreach materials specifically tailored to local needs: accommodating English, Haitian Creole, and Spanish speakers, as well as making materials as accessible as possible for people who struggle with literacy. So far, FisherFolkFirst have provided minimum size lobster gauges to all commercial fishers in the country, have launched a website explaining the regulations, and are about to provide the country with an illustrated brochure summarising the fishing regulations in three languages.