As part of Hurricane Irma recovery efforts, the Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross has launched the Fishing Livelihood Recovery Program with the support of the Fisheries Association and in coordination with local partners.

The program, which works under a cash transfer model, is enabling fishermen community to repair their damaged boats and replace their fishing equipment, a current priority need to resume their fishery activities.  The initial phase of the program will eventually benefit 70 crew fishermen and 353 family members.

“I was doing pretty well before Irma”, said Collane, one of the beneficiaries. “After Irma, my two boats were damaged and I could not go fishing for two months. I might get my engines functional now. Fishermen really need to get their livelihood back, we need to feed our families.”

“I have been diving since 1964, I fish grouper, red snapper, barracuda, and some other little fish. I tried to fix the boat by myself but I cannot leave it overnight, it would sink.”, said Norman, another fisherman. “Before I was selling the fish only in Barbuda, now we need to sell in Antigua”

Beneficiaries selection criteria was done under a thorough process in Barbuda. The Red Cross team developed an assessment on site to acknowledge the damage of the fishermen’s boats and complement the information-base provided by the Fisheries Association and the Fisheries Division of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Damaged boat captured during assessment in Barbuda. ©Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross