Enhancing National Health Standards in Aquaculture Systems: Increasing Aquaculture Productivity, Improving Industry Sustainability and Reducing Deleterious Aquatic Habitat Impacts
Enhancing National Health Standards in Aquaculture Systems: Increasing Aquaculture Productivity, Improving Industry Sustainability and Reducing Deleterious Aquatic Habitat Impacts
The overall project goals are to strengthen the local aquatic animal health capacity in Trinidad and Tobago. This will be accomplished through promoting and supporting the development of sustainable intensive and semi-intensive aquatic animal production systems, which will have the added advantage of reducing the current dependence on marine fishery stocks, thus supporting population rebound.

In Trinidad and Tobago the seafood industry is currently growing, however it finds itself at a critical junction. The preferred path forward would lead to healthier oceans and other aquatic habitats, increased economic opportunity for small aquaculture farmers and better nutrition in food-insecure communities. The alternative path, however, would see the aquaculture industry potentially becoming a contributor to habitat destruction and water pollution, as current legislation, governmental policies and regulatory protocols lack guidelines and strict enforcement mechanisms for the adherence to sound aquatic animal health and related biosecurity practices. In order to ensure that the former path is followed, farmers and stakeholders across Trinidad and Tobago first need to understand and then apply good aquaculture management practices, so that collectively they can strike a balance between profitability and environmental sustainability.

This project will emphasize to farmers and extension officers the importance of incorporating health monitoring practices into an effective, structured, nationwide aquaculture farm management programme. At least 20 aquaculture farmers and extension services officers will be targeted for inclusion in the training programme at the UWI, St. Augustine. After they have been trained, these stakeholders will be expected to actively champion the value of following good management practices and of establishing on-farm fish/shellfish health monitoring programmes. In this way a dynamic community of knowledge will be developed, with the opportunity to share best practices for monitoring and evaluating production ponds, tanks and the health of stocks. Through the training programme, best-practices for the prevention of disease entry, early disease recognition and proper chemical and drug usage and disposal will be embedded within the business of aquaculture in Trinidad and Tobago.

The project will emphasize the critical interconnection between human health, aquatic animal health and environmental health, and the role that youths can play in influencing sustainable aquaculture production. Youths will be encouraged to adopt behaviours that preserve aquatic ecosystem health and conserve freshwater and marine habitats, and will be encouraged to share these principles with their peers, households and wider communities. This will not only boost the local economy through the purchase of locally grown aquaculture food products, but will also reduce the pressures on critically threatened fisheries stocks.

The project duration is scheduled for 24 months at a total project cost of US$266,073.28. The total GEF-SGP request is US$49,955.37.

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Project Snapshot

UWI School of Veterinary Medicine
Trinidad and tobago
Area Of Work:
Grant Amount:
US$ 49,955.37
Co-Financing Cash:
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 216,117.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed

Grantee Contact

Carla Phillips


The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex,
Champs Fleurs ,

SGP Country office contact

Ms. Sharda Mahabir


c/o UNDP, United Nations House, 3A Chancery Lane