The Right Lure

USAID is working with countries throughout the Caribbean to conserve marine and coastal biodiversity, and to restore livelihoods for the people who call the region home. This project in the Dominican Republic's Samaná Bay addresses harmful fishing practices with new techniques. USAID also supports coral nurseries so reefs can be restored and fish can repopulate the waterways. The Agency and its partners are also encouraging community-led ecotourism to share the region’s natural wonders with visitors. As many as 3,000 fishers rely on Samaná Bay for their livelihoods. USAID’s assistance is helping rehabilitate an important resource for this community – and beyond.

Video Transcript 
[Music] Promoting Job Growth. Managing Natural Resources. USAID and the Dominican Republic Show How It’s Done. [Music] My partner, José Alberto, told me that when he was younger there was a lot of shrimp, fish, everything in Sánchez bay. But you don’t see that anymore with all the damages the bay has suffered with the harmful nets in the bay. Sánchez Dominican Republic My name is Juan Calcaño. I live in Sánchez, and I’m a fisherman. There’s a problem here at the bay with the nets that cause damages – the ones they call “the blender” – because they drag the bottom, so it kills everything it goes over. Big, small, it kills everything. The coral, it kills the coral too. It’s harmful fishing. We (instead) fish with the “suripera” because it’s a net that doesn’t cause damages. Everything the “suripera” picks up is alive, and if it’s too small you can let it go. If I use any other nets that are harmful I’m hurting myself. Because I won’t be able to survive, my kids won’t be able to survive. If I don’t think about them then I’d be like the others, without caring (about) the harm I’m causing. But I do care. [Music] We got together to try to protect the bay. We couldn’t take the damage (that) we saw going on. After USAID’s intervention, 50 fishers created a cooperative to help the bay thrive again. Besides that, the cooperative San Lorenzo is already working with tourism. We have kayaks, that’s a service we offer tourists. When we’re inside the mangroves, we explain about the trees, what the mangroves are for, the nests we see in them, the different types of birds. Aside from the kayaks, they’re training me to know the birds, so I’ll get another income. I hope the “suripera” fishing works out, so other fishermen can also use it and get benefits out of this new way of fishing. I hope that it goes back to being what it used to be, that you could catch shrimp from the shore. I hope things will change, so the fishermen can do well, not just me, all the fishers. Dominican fishers are building a healthier bay and a more resilient community.

Last updated: October 16, 2020

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