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Guyana

The following is from the full country profile (.pdf) for this nation. Profiles are in early draft stage only, and represent preliminary summaries of fisheries and bycatch issues. Thus, drafts are not reproducible or citable at this time. We encourage feedback to increase the completeness and accuracy of these documents. Please contact us with comments or suggestions.

The Fisheries of Guyana: An Overview


The fisheries of Guyana are largely inshore and artisanal.  There is not an intense high seas fishery effort off the Guianas and “most of Guyana's fishing effort occurs in relatively shallow waters of the continental shelf, within 60 km from the shore. The marine resources exploited within the EEZ are mainly the demersal fishery resources and, to a much more limited extent, the pelagic fish resources over the continental shelf and toward the continental slope” Government of Guyana (date). In 2002, 86% of the total finfish landed was from the artisanal fishery (FAO 2005). FAO (2005) noted that fisheries contributed GY$ 157,000,000  to the GDP in 2004. There are about 4500- 5000 artisanal fishermen. The industrial fisheries in Guyana are the trawl fisheries capturing shrimp resources of the continental shelf. Commercial exploitation of 4 species penaeid shrimp began in the 1950’s under foreign ownership (FAO, 2005). Currently there are approximately 116 commercial trawlers active (FAO, 2005) of 137 licensed operations. Guyana briefly experimented with finfish-targeting trawlers, but there are no trawlers licensed  specifically for finfish today/ The inshore artisanal fleet numbers approximately 1,300 artisanal fishing boats (Lurent et al., 1999;Weidner et al, 2001; FAO, 2005). There are no currently foreign registered or licensed trawlers (FAO 2005).

What fisheries exist in this territory and what are the target species?


 Marine capture fisheries in Guyana are directed at exploiting its shrimp resources (FAO 2005).The most valuable fishery is the penaeid fishery targeting 4 species of Penaeus (P. brasiliensis, P. notalis, P. schmitti and P. subtilis). Seabob and whitebelly shrimp (Xiphopenaeus kroyeri and Nematopalaemon schmitti respectively) comprise the other major components of the shrimp fishery (Table 1). The industrial fishery is dominated by the seabob (Xiphopenaeus kroyeri) fishery, which began in 1984. As foreign fleets were replaced by local entities, the foreign-owned vessels that targeted penaeids were reconfigured primarily for X. kroyeri, which now surpasses penaeid fishery in total landings (FAO 2005). 

The groundfish complex captures deep-slope species (Lutjanids like L. purpureus, L. synagris), weakfish; Macrodon ancylodon (locally called “bangamary”), Micropogonias and Cynoscion  spp.) and sea catfish (Arius spp.). Groundfish are caught in commercial operations as bycatch or targeted fisheries by artisanal fishers. There is a partially-directed shark fishery that captures both demersal and pelagic inshore species ( e.g. Carcharinus limbatus) in gillnets, seines and artisanal longlines (FAO, 1999; M. Kalamandeen, pers. com)

There is no legal sea turtle fishery, since a moratorium was enacted in 1957. TED use in the shrimp industry was introduced in 1994.