|Marine Fisheries Case Studies (Peace Corps)|
|3. Future of Peace Corps Marine Fisheries Programs|
Each marine fisheries program will have general goals and expectations of the volunteers involved. In village-level marine fisheries development programs, volunteers will be expected to:
· Establish and maintain good personal and working relationships with host country supervisors, coworkers, and local fishermen.
· Become familiar with the policies, plans, and program goals of their host country agencies and gain an understanding of how their projects fit into national programs.
· Become familiar with the status of marine fisheries development in their areas, and identify problems, concerns, and expectations for their own projects with their supervisors and co-workers.
· Establish objectives and a program of work to accomplish those objectives.
· Develop productive working relationships with people in all agencies that may have an influence upon or could contribute to their project, including local leaders, universities, government agencies, international agencies, and the private sector.
· Identify all the resources in the local area and in their host country agencies and others that may be available to their projects.
· Adhere to the rules, regulations, and policies of their host country agencies, and conduct themselves as full working members of their agencies with all the responsibilities thus conveyed.
Specific tasks that volunteers will be expected to perform in village-level marine fisheries development programs can be divided into the following subjects: fisheries methodology and fishing gear, fisheries research, fish handling, fish marketing and cooperatives, and fisheries education.
Fishing Methodology and Fishing Gear
Study existing fishing methods, gear, vessels, and fish species utilized by local fishermen.
· Study and determine extent of fishery resources presently utilized, their abundance, and identify possible ways to increase catch of desirable fish and shellfish.
· Evaluate traditional fishing vessels and other boat designs to determine value of introducing new boats or modifying existing ones for better fishing gear.
· Develop new methods or modify existing fishing methods to increase fish catch per unit effort.
· Introduce new gear and demonstrate its use, construction, and repair. Gear and new fishing methods that might be introduced include the following:
Line fishing - hand lines, long lines, floating lines, trolling
Trap fishing - fish pots and traps, shell fish pots and traps
Encircling gear - purse seines, beach seines
Net fishing - dip or lift nets, gill or trange nets, trammel nets for fish and lobster
Dredge and trawl fishing,
· shellfish dredges, Boston trawl for fish and shrimp
· Introduce outboard and inboard engines and teach proper mounting of engines, operation, repair and maintenance.
· Teach fishing safety procedures such as boat handling and equipment to take for emergencies - paddles or oars, a light, food, and water
· Survey and collect data on local fish and shellfish species presently being utilized and identify potential fishery resources not presently utilized.
· Evaluate inshore and offshore environments for their potential for protecting and promoting important fish and shellfish species.
· Identify the distribution and relative abundance of important fish and shellfish species, to determine the need for resource management and conservation programs.
· Study the life history and identify the different life stages of important fish and shellfish species to determine the appropriateness of different fishing methods and gear and the need for moratoria on fishing at certain times of the year or in certain spawning areas.
· Teach counterparts and local fishermen the importance of resource management and conservation and help them determine how best to manage their own local fishery resources.
· Study existing methods of fish handling, preservation, and processing and identify local preferences as to size, condition of fish sold, and freshness of fish desired.
· Identify the types of fish processing and preservation available to local people and their reactions to each type.
· Introduce new methods of fish preservation that use locally available materials and skills.. Such methods could include:
Salting - either between layers of salt, or in a brine solution
Smoking - in small quantities for household use
Drying - cheapest, uses sunlight and little else, but fish must be gutted
Icing - maintains freshness of fish over short periods of time from boat to market, but requires ice plants (electricity)
· Explore the possibility of processing fish on an industrial scale, such as canning and freezing.
· Teach general health practices with regard to fish preservation and handling, including quality control and sanitation.
Fish Marketing and Cooperatives
· Study current fish marketing methods, location of markets, availability of transportation from docking areas to markets, and methods of fish distribution (by fishermen themselves? by middlemen who buy at the dock?).
· Identify other marketing methods that may be possible in the local area and locate potential markets for fish that have not been utilized previously.
· Locate and determine need for credit and financing to improve present marketing methods.
· Help fishermen develop associations or cooperatives if none are in operation for fish marketing and financing for new gear and boats.
· Provide assistance in administration, bookkeeping, and accounting for associations and cooperatives, and educate cooperative members in such activities.
· Collect data on fish sold, prices obtained, size preferred, quality of fish when sold, types of fish eaten, and other statistical information to determine where improvements are most needed.
· Prepare feasibility studies for new markets and design new facilities for marketing needs such as ice plants and storage areas in cooperative buildings.
· Identify local businesses and businessmen who are interested in either financing marketing facilities or in buying fish directly from fishermen and who can provide technical help to fishermen.
· Conduct nonformal fisheries education of counterparts, coworkers, and local fishermen in all of the above fields when undertaking the appropriate activities.
· Utilize local resources to promote eating, of fish through audiovisual and written materials such as films and posters.
· Give talks to school children about the fishery resources of their area and the importance of protecting fish now so that there will be fish in the future.
· Work with health and nutrition volunteers in developing new ways to cook fish and introducing new fishery resources to local people.
· Develop an awareness of fisheries resources locally through newsletters, radio programs, and other types of information exchange.
· Where feasible, work with local fisheries technical schools and colleges to give practical, hands-on fishing experience to students. Allow local fishermen to demonstrate and lecture on new gear and methods and let them answer questions from students.