The marine fisheries of Trinidad and Tobago are diversified in terms of species, gear types and fishing fleets. There is a small fleet of industrial and semi-industrial inshore shrimp vessels, and an emerging fleet of semi-industrial vessels which target pelagic species in the offshore areas. The country is a base for the transshipment of quality fish products to international markets.
Seafood Industrial Development Company (SIDC)
SIDC is the local agency which partners with key stakeholders to support the sustainable growth of seafood and aquaculture industries in T&T.
Fish-harvesting involves large and small operators targeting inshore and offshore fishing zones, with vessels that range from small five-man pirogues to larger vessels which are put to sea for months at a time. There is also an established and internationally-recognized, sport fishing sub-industry.
- Offshore fisheries comprise highly migratory pelagic fisheries by commercial longline vessels targeting tuna and associated species.
- Inshore fisheries comprise artisanal, coastal pelagic as well as soft-bottom and hard-bottom demersal fisheries.
- Coastal and offshore recreational fisheries occur largely through tournaments and charter boat arrangements year round.
- Inland fisheries use various gears including hand collections for crabs, oysters, brackish water species and shellfish.
International trade in fish and fishery products is based mainly on the export of tuna, snapper, flying fish, kingfish, carite (Spanish mackerel), croaker, bechine and shrimp. Fishery products are mainly exported chilled or frozen, and processing technology is generally limited to primary processing and packaging. Processing plants and export companies purchase from individually owned vessels through a system of wholesale buyers.
The Caribbean Fisheries Training and Development Institute, located on the western side of Trinidad, delivers training and development programmes to local and regional fisheries and maritime industries. Over 7,000 people are employed in areas directly related to fishing.
Boat building and repair
The onshore industry comprises businesses which specialize in boat building and repair as well as specialty supply shops.
Why invest in Fish & Fish Processing?
The islands lie downstream of major South American river systems, including the Orinoco and the Amazon. This has influenced marine habitat types, which range from muddy bottom, brackish waters to coral reefs. The marine areas exhibit a diversity of marine species typical of both continental South America and the Caribbean.
T&T is a reputable source for excellent fishery products of which an estimated US $40 million is exported to the USA annually.
- Duty and VAT Concessions are available for new vessels, new engines, engine parts and spares, new fishing tackle, new marine accessories including electronic equipment, other capital equipment, construction material for new boats and imported fishing vessels.
- Duty-free concessions are available for imports of fish and fish products for processing by importers as approved by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries. The grant of this concession is based on a list of criteria that determine local value added to the product.
- Concessionary loans are available from the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB). Loans are provided to encourage and foster the development of agriculture, commercial fishing and related industries.
- Up to 50% rebate on vessels and equipment, including processing equipment.
- Incentives are available for the construction of ponds for aquaculture.
Locations / location options
Diverse fish species are mainly found in all coastal areas of Trinidad and Tobago and in the Gulf of Paria near the west coast.
The greatest opportunities for investment lie in large-scale commercial aquaculture development
Takiyah De Four
Manager, Investor Sourcing