Industrial Reboot – Fisheries 101

Go Lean Commentary

Go Fish!

It seems like a simple directive: Fishing. It’s one of the world’s oldest professions, sports and hobbies. As long as a person is close to a body of water – with fish – they can improvise, hustle and acquire food to feed their families. But sadly, in the Caribbean, we do not consume enough fish – see Appendix B below – and have under-utilized our Fisheries industry.

In many jurisdictions, there is a legal distinction between commercial fishing and amateur/sport fishing. The focus of this commentary is on commercial fishing. For the full history of the Caribbean, there has always been a commercial fishing industry … and yet, there are a lot of inadequacies in this industrial eco-system. Consider:

  • There are no canneries in the Caribbean, beyond the “closed” one in Mayaquez, Puerto Rico.
  • Fish stocks are threatened regionally – see more here:
  • The National food of Jamaica – Ackee & Codfish – while delicious and indicative of the native culture, actually features North Atlantic Cod … from Norway; not a locally harvested fish.

This is part of the assessment of the Caribbean failing economic engines. The book Go Lean…Caribbean – a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) – relates:

Previous Caribbean societies lived off the land and the sea; but today, the region depends extensively on imports, even acquiring large quantities of seafood, despite the 1,063,000 square miles of the Caribbean Sea. The CU Trade Federation is a technocracy, empowered to reboot the economic engines of the member-states, by fostering new industries (new “purse”) across the entire region and deploying solutions to better exploit the opportunities of the global trade market. Thus generating all new revenues; with no need to re-distribute any existing “purse” among the member-states.

The book Go Lean…Caribbean asserts that the business model of commercial fishing can harness a lot of jobs. This book asserts, at Page 257, that this roadmap to elevate the economic engines in Caribbean society can succeed and projects that 4,000 new direct jobs – direct jobs on fishing vessels, aquaculture sites, canneries and distribution – can be created with strategic endeavors for the Fisheries. (Even more indirect jobs – 15,000 based on a 3.75-to-1 multiplier rate – can be created).  This is how the industrial landscape of the Caribbean region can be rebooted, by doubling-down on the effort to enhance this fisheries industry. So this strategy from this Go Lean book can result in 19,000 jobs in total.

Fishing is an old industry and yet there is still an opportunity to reboot this part of our industrial landscape. Rather than looking forward, the Go Lean roadmap looks side-ways to the best tactics and best practices of this global industry. Consider these suggestions:

  • Cooperatives – Fishery cooperatives allow fishermen and industry players to pool their resources in certain (non-competitive) areas of activity. This strategy is vital for sharing the cost and expense of installing piers/docks, locating systems (Loran-C & GPS), canneries, refrigerated warehouses and transportation solutions.
  • Canneries – The CU will sponsor co-ops to manage canneries for different foods, including seafood i.e. mackerel.
  • Aqua-culture – the controlled harvesting of fish, crustaceans, mollusks and aquatic plants using farm-like conditions and practices. (Think incubating fertile eggs in a laboratory).
  • Mari-culture – practiced in marine environments and underwater habitats where aquatic plants are embedded to protect fish beds and reefs.

Despite these popular practices, there is something new in  this strategy for the Caribbean: Size!

The requisite investment of the resources for this goal may be too big for any one Caribbean member-state alone. So rather, the Go Lean strategy is to shift the responsibility to a region-wide, professionally-managed, deputized technocracy; this will result in greater production and greater accountability.

We need the greater production of a new economic landscape in our region. The current one is in shambles! This is due to the primary driver in the region – Tourism – being under assault; more and more visitors shift from stay-overs to cruise arrivals. So this means less economic impact to the local markets. So as a region, we must reboot our industrial landscape and add more job-creating options.

The Go Lean book prepares the business model around delivering better on basic needs – food, clothing and shelter. We need the fisheries to supplement the food provisions. In fact, seafood may even be a better source of protein than the land-based options of beef, pork and poultry – think of the additives, antibiotics and steroids. Fish is sounding better and better!

This constitutes an industrial reboot for the Greater Good. We must mine these treasures from the sea. See this thought elaborated upon in this recent news article in Appendix A below. Also, we ask this question of Caribbean stakeholders: “Why not eat more fish?” in Appendix B.

The book Go Lean…Caribbean – available to download for free – presents the confederation roadmap of all 30 member-states to execute a reboot of the Caribbean economic eco-system. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines on the Caribbean homelands and Seas.
  • Improvement of Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies. There will be a Federal Fisheries Department for regional oversight of the EEZ.

As related previously, rebooting the homeland of the Caribbean region will mean rebooting the economic engine of the Caribbean Sea. This commentary has previously identified a number of different industries that can be rebooted under this Go Lean roadmap. See the list of previous submissions on Industrial Reboots here:

  1. Industrial RebootsFerries 101 – Published June 27, 2017
  2. Industrial RebootsPrisons 101 – Published October 4, 2017
  3. Industrial RebootsPipeline 101 – To be published October 6, 2017
  4. Industrial RebootsFrozen Foods 101 – To be published October 6, 2017
  5. Industrial RebootsCall Centers 101 – Published July 2, 2018
  6. Industrial RebootsPrefab Housing 101 – Published July 14, 2018
  7. Industrial RebootsTrauma 101 – Published July 18, 2018
  8. Industrial RebootsAuto-making 101 – Published – July 19, 2018
  9. Industrial Reboots – Shipbuilding 101 – Published – July 20, 2018
  10. Industrial Reboots – Fisheries 101 – Published Today – July 23, 2018

The Go Lean book stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean economic engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

v. Whereas the natural formation of our landmass and coastlines entail a large portion of waterscapes, the reality of management of our interior calls for extended oversight of the waterways between the islands. The internationally accepted 12-mile limits for national borders must be extended by International Tribunals to encompass the areas in between islands. The individual states must maintain their 12-mile borders while the sovereignty of this expanded area, the Exclusive Economic Zone, must be vested in the accedence of this Federation.

xxiv.  Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

xxvi.  Whereas the Caribbean region must have new jobs to empower the engines of the economy and create the income sources for prosperity, and encourage the next generation to forge their dreams right at home, the Federation must therefore foster the development of new industries, like that of ship-building, automobile manufacturing, prefabricated housing, frozen foods, pipelines, call centers, and the prison industrial complex. In addition, the Federation must invigorate the enterprises related to existing industries like tourism, fisheries and lotteries – impacting the region with more jobs.

Accordingly, the CU will facilitate the eco-system for Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) and Self-Governing Entities (SGE). These SGE’s are ideal for the Fisheries industry – with its exclusive federal regulation/promotion activities. Imagine bordered campuses – with docks, canneries, refrigerated warehouses, cooperative refrigeration utilities and backup power generations.

There are ideal role models that the Caribbean Sea can emulate. First understand the UN’s Law of the Sea in the Appendix VIDEO below. Then consider the example of Alaska. See the details here from the Go Lean book at Page 210:

The Bottom Line on Alaska Exclusive Economic Zone
Alaska is one of the most bountiful fishing regions in the world, producing a wide variety of seafood. The fisheries of Alaska are recognized as some of the best-managed fisheries in the world, providing thousands of jobs and a vital, long term economic engine for Alaska communities and the state. Over 4.1 billion pounds of fish and shellfish worth over $1.8 billion were harvested in Alaska waters in 2010, keeping Alaska in first place [globally] for value of
As with other countries, the 200 nautical miles Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off the coast of the United States gives its fishing industry special rights. It covers 4.38 million square miles.The US Government established the North Pacific Fishery Management Council with jurisdiction over the 900,000-squaremiles of the EEZ for the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands. This region provides rich marine resources: Pacific salmon, shellfish (shrimp, crab), ground-fish, flatfish, Pacific halibut, herring, and more. The salmon species in Alaska generally produce good harvests, though some stocks are declining. The Aleutian Islands are a series of over 300 rocky islands, stretching over 1,000 miles from southwest Alaska to Russia. They are home to the largest fishing port in the U.S., Dutch Harbor. In 2005, about 30,000 square miles of sea-floor around the Aleutian Islands were permanently closed and certain destructive fishing practices banned.

To fully explore Fisheries, there must be art and science! See the high level view of UNCLOS in the Appendix VIDEO below.

The Go Lean movement (book and blogs) details the principles of SGE’s and job multipliers, how certain industries are better than others for generating multiple indirect jobs down the line (or off-campus) for each direct job on the SGE’s payroll.

This is the vision of an industrial reboot! This transformation is where and how the jobs are to be created.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society. In addition to  Federal Fisheries Department, there is an advocacy for rebooting the industrial landscape to better foster the Fisheries industry; consider the specific plans, excerpts and headlines from the book on Page 210 entitled:

10 Ways to Improve Fisheries

1 Lean-in for the Caribbean Single Market
The CU will allow for the unification of the region into one market, thereby creating a single economy of 30 member-states, 42 million people and a GDP of over $800 Billion (2010). One mission of the CU is to facilitate the food supply so that the region can feed itself, more from local production and less from trade; this includes yields from fisheries. The Caribbean Sea generates a large fishing industry for the surrounding countries, accounting for half a million metric tons (1.1 billion pounds) of fish per year. And yet, the region still imports fish from Alaska. (Alaska imports none from the Caribbean).
2 UN Petition – Effort initiated by the ACS

The CU seeks a designation of an Exclusive Economic Zone for the Caribbean Seas, must like the US enjoys with the waters surrounding Alaska-Aleutian Islands. This new zone should also feature the international waters between the islands. The CU will oversee this zone to coordinate economic activity, protect the natural environment against hazards and ensure the security measures for the assurance of the homelands. These requests are in line with the UN charter. [See more on the UNCLOS in the Appendix VIDEO below].

3 Common Pool Resources (Lobster, Conch, Grouper, Flying Fish)

Though the waters between the islands may be uninhabited, their resources can still be depleted. The CU will govern the common pool resources to promote the sustainability of fish stock. Fishing for lobster, conch, grouper, “flying fish” and other species must be controlled, with limited harvesting seasons, otherwise there will be none for future generations.-

4 Cooperatives
5 Aqua-culture and Mari-culture
6 Fishing Tourism and Yachting Enthusiasts
7 Marine Financing
8 Coast Guard hand-off to CU Naval Authority

The US Coast Guard does assume a lot of patrol duties in the Caribbean, even though only small portions of the region (Puerto Rico) are in their jurisdiction. The CU will not discourage any over-coverage the USCG provides, but the prime responsibility for policing, search-and-rescue, and interdiction for the region rest with the CU and the Naval Authority.

9 ICE Cooperation
10 Maritime Emergency Management

The CU will deploy the necessary resources for maritime emergencies in the region. While the US Coast Guard provides some emergency response today; the direct responsibility would belong to the CU Naval Authority. As such, the CU sponsored Trauma Centers will allow for airlifting hurt-or-sick fishermen on fishing vessels and CU agencies will marshal the effort to prepare and prevent emergencies with disaster recovery and business continuity plans for industry players.

The subject of Caribbean fisheries is not new for this Go Lean roadmap; there have been a number of previous blog-commentaries by the Go Lean movement that referenced economic opportunities embedded in this industry. See a sample list here: Commerce of the Seas – Book Review: ‘Sea Power’ Securing the Homeland – From the Seas Lessons from China – South China Seas: Exclusive Economic Zones Lessons Learned from Queen Conch Cooling Effect – Oceans and the Climate

In summary, our Caribbean homeland needs jobs; the home “waters” need jobs too. A better job-creation ability would help us to make our homeland a better place to live, work and play. In fact, one of the reasons why so many Caribbean citizens have emigrated away from the homeland is the job-creation dysfunction. Creating a new economic landscape will require rebooting our industrial landscape.

Yes, we can … reboot our industrial landscape, and create the necessary new jobs – and other economic opportunities.

We urge all Caribbean stakeholders to lean-in to this roadmap for economic empowerment. A new disposition among the Fisheries do amplify the fact that this Go Lean roadmap is necessary – we must reboot. 🙂

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix A – The Caribbean: What to Eat

A few decades ago, the Caribbean people thought their food not good enough for the annual hoards of vacationing tourists. They considered their local dishes too native and uninteresting, and chose to offer visitors French food instead. Fortunately, after constant demand, Caribbean hoteliers and restauranteurs now offer a variety of traditional foods throughout the islands.

From the lush tropical vegetation of the Caribbean comes an astonishing array of fruit. There are coconuts, pineapples, passion fruits, papayas, mangoes, apples, oranges, bananas, melons, figs, pomegranate, and limes. Others include the breadfruit, ugli, naseberry, tamarind, sapodilla, soursop, plantains, cherimoya, monstera, loquat, carambola, guava, and mamey sapote. Some exotic fruits are not exported because they are too delicate, which is why many Caribbean fruits are unfamiliar to those who do not travel to the Islands.

Some fruits are enjoyed right off the trees as part of a meal or snack, but many are used for a variety of both sweet and savory dishes. Mangos and papayas are used in drinks, desserts like sherbets and mousse, and in fiery chutneys. Coconuts are used for coconut bread, coconut ice cream, flan, and that world-famous Pina Colada. Coconut milk is also used for meat sauces, and even cooked with beans. Plantains, which are similar to bananas, are eaten grilled, fried, prepared as crispy chips, or baked in meat pies.

Vegetables, likewise, are prolific on the islands. Yams, pumpkin, yuca, calabaza, callaloo, chayote, sweet potatoes, okra, tomatoes, zuchinni, cucumbers, and bell peppers are all used to their full advantage. A variety of legumes are also popular, especially black beans used in popular Cuban black bean soup. Other common beans are pigeon peas, black-eyed peas, and red beans. Most bean dishes are served with rice and cornbread, similar to Creole menus of the Southern U.S.

Poultry dishes are widespread throughout the Caribbean, mostly because chicken is the most economical meat. It is often marinated with ginger, lime, and chiles before grilling. Beef and pork dishes are common in Caribbean cuisine, but more so on the Spanish Islands. Goat, and less popular lamb, are used on some islands. Curried Goat is a holiday specialty of Jamaica.

Treasures from the sea are another reason to experience Caribbean cuisine. These are the fresh fish, shellfish, and other tropical delicacies caught daily in the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea. Hundreds of varieties of fish are available, including sea bass, swordfish, pompano, mullet, kingfish, yellowtail, tuna, wahoo, snapper, grouper, mackerel, and dolphin fish. They are grilled, baked, or served in chowders and stews.

Salt codfish is a Caribbean specialty. Its most common presentations are in salads and stews, or with scrambled eggs. Shellfish like the spiny lobster and shrimp are ubiquitous, and both given the special Caribbean touch with specialties like Lobster Creole and Coconut Shrimp. Other Carribean specialties include conch, sea urchin, and turtle.

Probably because of the preponderance of sugar cane in the islands, desserts are an important part of a Caribbean meal. They come in every form, from cakes, dumplings, bread and rice puddings, to flan, souffle and mousse. There are also frozen ices and sherbets. Many desserts utilize local fresh and dried fruits, sometimes sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and avocado; rum is sometimes an ingredient.

By no means are all Caribbean dishes fiery hot and spicy, but chiles are the most widespread form of Caribbean seasoning. It is not unusual when dining in the islands, that a bottle of local hot sauce be available to patrons.

To truly experience Caribbean cuisine, it is wise to seek out the regional specialties, especially if you are staying at a fine resort hotel. Remember that just because there is a hibiscus flower on the plate, doesn’t mean the dish is authentic!

Source: Food-Wine Magazine January 2007 – retrieved July 22, 2018 from:


Appendix B – Why don’t they eat more fish in the Caribbean?

By  Tyler Cowen

David Lomita, a loyal MR [(Marginal Revolution)] reader, asks me:

I have often wondered why, given that they are a bunch of small islands, that so many of the more famous dishes of Caribbean countries are meat and not fish.  The woman of this house is Jamaican and she is much more proud of jerk than of escabeche fish.  Puerto Rico has its lechon, Cuban food has ropa de viejo and so on.

I don’t have any data here … but independently I have wondered about a similar question.  I see a few possible factors:

  1. Often fish are available, and excellent, immediately right near the ocean.  Transport and adequate refrigeration are not to be taken for granted.  In any case, those dishes won’t always become iconic national recipes.  Note also that a lot of the fish consumed will be boiled, spiced, and salted, presumably for health and storage reasons.
  2. Food is an energy source, and meat is often superior to fish in this regard, especially for diets which may otherwise lack calories.  For the same reason such meals also can be more carbohydrate-heavy than the typical daily diet.
  3. Cows, chickens, and pigs are media for savings.  Fish are not.  Why not invest in some insurance while you are planning your food supply?  Keep in mind that local banking systems often do not serve the poor very well.  Furthermore it may be easier to own a chicken than to catch a fish.  Fishing is low-productivity in many parts of the Caribbean, due to poor knowledge and implementation of aquaculture.
  4. Which countries are we talking about?  In the wealthier Trinidad and Jamaica, retail fish shops are common (that link is useful more generally)  In Barbados, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Cayman Islands, culinary infrastructure is quite good and there is plenty of wealth.  In Haiti and Cuba, the two most populous nations in the Caribbean, economic conditions are dire.
  5. Never overlook the heavy hand of government, plus a lack of resource management expertise: “Most of the governments of the islands aim at self-sufficiency in fish production. Some, such as Antigua, try to prohibit exports; others, such as Jamaicaand Trinidad, limit imports. All of them are giving more attention to post-harvest practices both at sea and on shore, processing and storage, and to improved marketing and distribution. Many are now more interested in assessment of their resources, and collecting statistics to determine the best management practices to sustain the stocks.”

By the way, here is a very good recent piece on the rising cost of food imports in the Caribbean, especially Jamaica.

Source: Marginal Revolution Online Magazine – Posted August 5, 2013. See the full article and readers comments here; retrieved July 23, 2018 from:


Appendix VIDEO – Law of the Sea –

Published on Mar 21, 2016

Recorded with

  • Category: Education
  • License: Standard YouTube License


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