November 29th 2018
Marine Agriculture Development in the Caribbean
Marine agriculture, also known as maricultural, utilizes man made techniques, such as growing, maintaining, and harvesting, and applies them to marine plants and animals for the benefit of the community. In the Caribbean the ocean provides a variety of economically and culturally nourishing factors that contribute to the local Caribbean people. This first dated back to the beginning when the aboriginal people of the west indies came from the diffusion of humans throughout Africa, Asia, and Europe. Marine agriculture then popularized and drew mass amounts of tourisms to the islands. Which advanced local marine technologies and as a result quickly altered the state marine topography in the Caribbean.
Caribbean societies are transplanted communities as a result of voluntary and involuntary migration, thusly, forcing intense adaptation to the local surrounding for survival. The Arawaks practiced subsistence farming. archaeological evidence and ethnohistorical accounts demonstrate that the harvesting of mollusks combined with fishing were paramount, and that technologies changed to become more sophisticated, ranging from spears, traps, nets, poisons, and hook and line, though fishhooks and other tackle are rarely found. (Tainos referred to by some sources as Island Arawaks) In Greater Antilles and the Bahamas, Tainos told Columbus, “savages having neither houses or farms, subsisting on mountain game, turtles or fish.” Amerindians did not leave a written record of their history, what is known was accounted for by the Europeans. This is a reflection on the level of survival that fell hand in hand with marine agriculture. To say it provided sustenance would be shorthanded. In a time with neither houses nor farms the ocean provided the people in the Greater Antilles with new resources sources to utilize. These resources then lead to the industrialization in the Caribbean.
In the figure above shows the community coming together in farming, giving purpose and strength to those around.
Industrialization in the Caribbean was not recorded in depth because during the American industrial revolution slavery still dominated the local islands. What was known was that the maricultural industrialization took place in the Caribbean when commercial finishing was introduced. As it brought advanced technology, economic growth and wide spread changes to the local people as many foreign country ships wanted to lay claim to the fishing rights. As a result of the growing popularity of the Caribbean Sea marine agriculture became apart of high volumes of tourism that came about the islands. Bringing in more and more foreigners into the lives of the community. This posed a very controversial outlook as it brought more money to the land, but also potentially took away from the communalism that the local people shared. Regardless progress overcame and as of 2018 in the Caribbean region, a number of nations and territories are involved with commercial fishing, including Mexico, Costa Rico, Honduras, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), The Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Haiti, and others. As well as several international entities are involved with Caribbean fisheries, including the Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission (WCAFC), the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) to harvest spiny lobster, conch, groupers, snappers, mackerels, tunas, and other seafood. However, this high commercial influence on marine agriculture did not come without obstacles, while hurricane threats limit their fishing range.
The figure above is a map of the Virgin Islands and the common cruise routes. Where tourist enjoy diving and here are the vast amounts of anchorage spots taking up where local fisherman used to hunt for food.
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have found that up to 90 percent of predatory fish are gone from Caribbean coral reefs. Some shallow reefs have been decimated, and snorkelers who regularly cruise certain reefs may be heartbroken by the damage, but reefs deeper than 20 feet have fared better. “There are still beautiful reef structures – some that have been rearranged, but not catastrophically.” This heavy decrease of fish population has impacted the local people economically and within the daily lives. An interview with local fisherman’s, in the US Virgin Islands, reveals that fish catch sized are getting smaller. The marine agriculture that once was the support beams of small islands, like the US Virgin Islands, are crumbling. What has not changed over the years is the co-dependency between marine agriculture and the lively hood of those in the Caribbean. The causes of such declines have called into question why—tourism, mariculture advances, weather.
The photo above shows the devastating aftermath of the hurricanes that came through the Virgin Islands and its impact on the costal life.
The past present and future of marine agriculture has branched and grown and deteriorated all within a few centuries due to industrialization, over fishing, tourisms and many other varying factors. Thusly, having negative impacts throughout the Caribbean. To conclude, marine agriculture once began as a tool and mechanism for survival and cultivating culture and now brings foreign invaders once again into local lives. Calling into to question the effect of tourism, the back bone of marine agriculture, on local culture.
On a positive note the future holds potential, in the marine agriculture industry there lives the conservationists. seeking to restore what has now become an over popularized farming ground to its natural order. Marine conservation refers to the study of conserving physical and biological marine resources and ecosystem functions. It is the protection and preservation of ecosystems in oceans and seas through planned management in order to prevent the exploitation of these resources. Marine conservation is driven by the manifested negative effects being seen in the environment such as species loss, habitat degradation and changes in ecosystem functions. By focusing on limiting human-caused damage to marine ecosystems, restoring damaged marine ecosystems, and preserving vulnerable species and ecosystems of the marine life. Marine conservation is a relatively new discipline which has developed as a response to biological issues such as extinction and marine habitats change.
Marine conservationists rely on a combination of scientific principles derived from marine biology, oceanography, and fisheries science, as well as on human factors such as, demand for marine resources and marine law, economics and policy, in order to determine how to best protect and conserve marine species and ecosystems. Marine conservation may be described as a sub-discipline of conservation biology.
Modern marine conservation first became globally recognized in the 1970s after World War II in an era known as the “marine revolution”. The United States federal legislation showed its support of marine conservation by institutionalizing protected areas and creating marine estuaries. In the mid-1970s the United States formed the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Through this program, nations could communicate and make agreements about marine conservation. After the formation of the IUCN, new independent organizations known as non-governmental organizations started to appear. These organizations were self-governed and had individual goals for marine conservation. At the end of the 1970s, undersea explorations equipped with new technology such as computers were undertaken. During these explorations, fundamental principles of change were discovered in relation to marine ecosystems. Through this discovery, the interdependent nature of the ocean was revealed. This led to a change in the approach of marine conservation efforts, and a new emphasis was put on restoring systems within the environment, along with protecting biodiversity.
In the USVI to continue the growth of our agri-business industry as an important contributor to the USVI economy. Louis E. Petersen, Jr. Ph.D. Algal Vegetarian Omega 3 vs Fish Oil Supplements. Algae offers all the benefits of fish oil, with the risk of heavy toxicity. For vegans and vegetarians it also means a superior form of essential fatty acids to things like Flax seed, which need to be converted by the body from the shorter chain to longer chain EPA. Importantly, it also means you no longer have to support fishing practices which are damaging the health of our oceans. Our algae is produced inland in a closed loop bioreactor, meaning it has no impact on native algae populations or the fish that feed off them. “To know your future you must know your past” ? George Santayana