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The Lagoon, Coastal Degradation and Over Fishing
Coastal Islands Of Rodrigues
Fishing is an important activity for Rodriguans. In 1994, there were 1986 registered fishermen out of a total island population of 34,000. But that number does not take into account the many people that are amateur fishermen and who are not registered but yet depend upon fishing for food or as a source of income.
In 1991, the State of the Environment Report stated that the catch due to artisanal fisheries in Rodrigues was of the order of 1900 tonnes yearly (inside the lagoon and off lagoon). But in 1994 the Central Statistical Office reported that the total catch was only 840.9 tonnes for that year.
|Year: 1994||Catch in tonnes|
|Lagoon (a) Octopus||523.7|
|Lagoon (b) other fish||307.9|
This fall from 1900 tonnes caught in 1990 to 840 tonnes in 1994 is indicative of a collapse in fisheries. It is clear that the State of the Environment report is right in reporting that the lagoon of Rodrigues is being heavily exploited. It is therefore of utmost importance that concerted efforts be brought about to ensure that artisanal fishing be carried out in a sustainable fashion.
Fish is an affordable source of proteins to the inhabitants. Consequently,
over fishing together with any significant reduction in the lagoon
fishing stock will have a dramatic impact on the welfare and standard
of living of the inhabitants of Rodrigues. Hence the urgency of
Date on the web: 23rd of June 1998
Last update: 2nd of July 1998