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Sea-Ex > Commercial Fishing > Seafood Industry Contacts by Country > Netherlands Antilles
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Commercial Fishing & Seafood Industry Contacts - Netherlands Antilles, Nederlandse Antillen


Government Contacts & Information Resources for
Commercial Fishing, Seafood, Aquaculture, Marine & Oceans in Netherlands Antilles

The Netherlands Antilles (Dutch: Nederlandse Antillen), previously known as the Netherlands West Indies or Dutch Antilles/West Indies, is part of the Lesser Antilles and consists of two groups of islands in the Caribbean Sea: Curaçao and Bonaire, just off the Venezuelan coast, and St Eustatius, Saba and St Maarten, located southeast of the Virgin Islands. The islands form an autonomous part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Coastal State requirements for foreign fishing in Netherlands Antilles:

-No commercial fishing in the territorial waters and in the fishing zone without a permit (sect. 2(1)) unless vessel is fishing with maximum of 4 troll lines or hand-held lines. (Sect. 3(1) and (2))
-Regulations for fishing within territorial waters by vessels with capacity of less than 6 GRT and less than 12 meters long are the responsibility of island authorities; fishing by larger vessels and in all cases outside territorial waters is regulated by Governor of the Netherlands Antilles.
-Individual islands can decide whether to introduce a system of permits for small-scale fishing in their territorial waters, either for all fishing vessels or exclusively for foreign vessels. (Sect. 2(3))
-Permits shall be granted in response to a written application; after hearing
Fisheries Commission, Minister may lay down general regulations concerning information to be contained on application and submission of application. (Sect. 7)
-Measures may be promulgated by Governor's Decree to regulate type of fishing tackle, types and minimum sizes of fish which can be caught or retained. (Sect. 3(1))
-Permit issued for 12 months. (Sect. 8)
-Permits may be issued and extended provided that continued survival and natural development of fish stock will not be jeopardized. (Sects. 6 and 8)
-In qualifying for a fishing permit, residents of the Netherlands Antilles have priority over non-residents. (Sect. 6)
-Permit valid for maximum of 12 months. (Sect. 8)
-Permit non-transferable (sect. 11); provision made, however, for use of another vessel which temporarily replaces vessel specified in permit. (Sect. 9)
(Draft No. 2 of Fisheries Ordinance, 1991)

Permit holders may be required to report on fishing areas, fishing effort, types of fish caught, and fishing methods used. (Sect. 3(3))
(Draft No. 2 of Fisheries Ordinance, 1991)

SWORDFISH - Large pelagic fish caught in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles

About Large Pelagic Fishing in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles:

The fishing fleet of Curacao has experienced a significant decline during the last few years mainly because the import duties and the cost of fuel have risen markedly. From a fleet of 435 vessels only 111 (25.5 percent) are actively fishing; the others are idle due to mechanical and/or financial problems, such as migration of owners. The fisheries is predominantly artisanal, and although there is no clear distinction between target species and bycatch, the large pelagic species with the highest market value include: dolphinfish, wahoo, and to a lesser extent, marlins and tunas. The longline vessels predominantly target the large pelagic species such as: bigeye tuna, yellowfin tuna and swordfish. Dolphin fish (mahi mahi), jacks, sharks and escolar are considered bycatch. The catch from these longline vessels is predominantly exported.

Curacao had a break in its fisheries data collection. Since its resumption (in 2000) data on catch and effort are being collected at landing sites on a daily basis, using a sampling method. It was realized that monitoring of the fisheries require at least 2 years data to show trends; for example, previous data showed rainbow runner contributing a constant 10 to 15 percent of the pelagic landings, but it has not been significant in the recent data. Based on this new data, it was concluded that there was a strong correlation between boat length and catch per unit effort. The government of Curacao intends to expand the number of longline vessels, to take greater advantage of the large pelagic fish resources in its fishery zone while being mindful of overfishing. It is also expected that reliable fisheries data will function as a basis for future Island Fishery Ordinance.

Some species of fish found in Netherlands Antilles, Curacao, Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean:

Snappers, groupers, jacks, reef sharks, rainbow runners, barracudas, bonefish, mahi mahi, ladyfish, gray snapper, permit, blue marlin, white marlin, sailfish, Atlantic spearfish, wahoo, king fish, yellowfin tuna, black fin tuna.

Common Name: Marlin
Local Name: balau

Common Name: Sailfish
Local Name: balau wairu or balau kora

Common Name: Red Snapper
Local Name: piska kora

Common Name: Yellowtail Snapper
Local Name: girstelchi piedra

Common Name: Bonefish
Local Name: Local Name: warashi

Common Name: Barracuda
Local Name: piku

Common Name: Dolphinfish (Mahi Mahi)
Local Name: dradu

Common Name: Jack
Local Name: yag

Common Name: Tuna
Local Name: buni

Common Name: bait fish
Local Name: aas

Curaçao Chamber of Commerce - We represent the general interests of the business community, keep a complete roster of Curaçao businesses, and provide services to local and international companies and individuals with an interest in doing business in, from or through Curaçao.

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