Contributing to conservation:
Anderson has continued his efforts campaigning for tough legislation that will help protect the marine resources of Barbados. He is passionate about the use of appropriate fishing gear and is strongly against the use of small gill net mesh size, as he states, “these are assassinating the young dolphins.” Similarly he opposes the use of smaller mesh sizes for flyingfish, which tends to be common now.
He shares his knowledge informally with fellow fishers and boat owners. He shares it formally at the meetings of the national Fisheries Advisory Committee appointed by the Minister responsible for fisheries. Except for one brief period, Anderson has been on the FAC since its inception in 1995, and is now serving his sixth term as an invaluable source of insight and knowledge well beyond the norm for the industry. Anderson has also works comfortably with scientists and has done so for many years with researchers from the Bellairs Research Institute of McGill University, and faculty at the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies, at the University of the West Indies (UWI-CERMES).
Outlook for the future of fisheries?
“Unless properly managed, the fishing industry will decline.” Anderson would like to see something in place to protect the future of the flyingfish industry. He believes that measures need to be put in place, but feels politicians are just looking for votes and not doing what is needed to ensure the sustainability of the industry. “Year in, year out, fisherman are capturing small dolphinfish and now more recently, flyingfish, and there is nothing in place for the protection of them.” He also wants to see more attention given to attracting youngsters to the industry. Young people are still under the misconception that fishers are not educated, and as such, they are not interested in fisheries livelihoods.
“There needs to be a change in attitude of fisherfolk; they need to place conservation before the almighty dollar. Their thoughts are short-term as opposed to long term.”