The fundamental objective for fisheries development in Latin America and the Caribbean is to obtain the maximum sustainable yield from the regional fisheries resources in order to:
- Intensify the production of low-cost protein food to reduce the growing protein deficit in the region.
- Improve the present trade balance in Latin American countries through increased exportation and import substitution.
The development of fisheries in Latin America offers the perspective of significant improvement in both areas considering the low-cost accessibility of these valuable natural resources, as well as the availability of needed human and technological resources.
The Bank's action in the field of fisheries should be directed toward the financing of basic infrastructure works with a broad catalytic effect, such as fishing ports, marketing terminals, modern fleets and support services, aquaculture, and even the promotion of certain industries or operations aimed at new techniques for processing fishery products or for artificial breeding. In many countries priority emphasis should be placed on projects for artisanal fishing cooperatives, designed for purposes of increasing productivity, preliminary processing and marketing of fish and shellfish. Priority should also be assigned to personnel training projects, especially when they are regional in scope and serve the needs of extensive areas in one or more countries. With regard to science and technology, the Bank should support centers of this type either by promoting their formation or by correcting the shortcomings of existing centers. Every production project should be related to, or connected with, research programs, if the project itself does not include a provision of such programs. Industrial promotion projects should be given preference when they form part of overall fishery development programs.
The determination of priorities for specific projects depends on the type of projects concerned in terms of the prospects and needs of the respective country. Generally speaking, priority projects can be classified as those entailing investments with a broad multiplier effect which, because of their nature or total cost, have no real possibility of attracting private capital initially or projects which require better financing terms than those usually available.
Fields of Activity
Fishery activities include catching or extraction operations, as well as the preservation, processing and marketing of animal or vegetal life whose natural or usual habitat is water. All of these stages are influenced by the special characteristics of the basic natural elements - variability and perishability - and, taken together, they are technically dependent on catching operations.
The fields of activity are classified in this policy as follows:
1. PRODUCTION DEVELOPMENT , including such items as port infrastructure, fishing fleets, industrial plants, artisanal fishermen, aquaculture, etc;
2. MARKETING INFRASTRUCTURE, such as fishing terminals and cold-storage plants, transportation and distribution units, organization of fishing cooperatives and technical assistance for programs designed to promote the consumption of fishery products;
3. TRAINING, covering the training of seagoing personnel (master fishermen, engineers, fishermen, net menders), processing experts and scientific personnel;
4. PREINVESTMENT, including scientific, technological studies and technical assistance, which can, in turn, be used in the preparation of sectorial plans or preparation and execution of specific projects and feasibility studies; and
5. RESEARCH PROGRAMS, aimed at improving the identification and exploitation of fish resources and technology for catching and processing operations.
Since specific fishery projects could refer to one or more of the above indicated fields of activity, application of this policy should be flexible and contingent upon the particular fishery conditions in each area or country
.For optimum attainment of the overall objectives outlined above, fishery projects presented for the Bank's consideration should meet, insofar as possible, the following general conditions:
- They should be consistent with the goals and guidelines of national or regional development plans or policies.
- They should not affect negatively the conservation of natural resources.
- They should contribute to the expansion of production and/or improvement of productivity and facilitate the improved utilization of food resources.
- They should take into account the broadest and most effective utilization of available manpower resources and suitable remuneration policy consistent with the technical and economic feasibility of the project.
- They should be designed to diversify catches and industrial processing aimed at reducing the natural uncertainty of fisheries, while at the same time promoting the expansion of complementary industries. Integrated projects will receive high priority.
- They should consider the modern technical elements and a dynamic, effective administrative structure required to guarantee a successful operation.
The Bank has special guidelines for the preparation of applications for fishery projects by the member countries. In addition to these guidelines, there exists specific technical orientations for the appraisal of different types of fishery projects in accordance with the country and resources available. The technical orientations are covered in the Technical Standards Manual.
The Bank's strategy is determined by the natural conditions in each country or group of countries with similar characteristics. It cannot be established on uniform basis for the region as a whole. The status of fishery development is by no means uniform, as demonstrated by production statistics and factors, such as institutional structure, local markets and even climate, all of which requires diversified use of the various means of action open to the Bank. For the identification of guidelines five principal fishing zones can be defined: South Pacific, South Atlantic, North Pacific, North Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.
Obviously, the Bank cannot assume responsibility of all of the many aspects inherent in the development of a fishery promotion policy in Latin America. Accordingly, the Bank will coordinate with various agencies and institutions, including the FAO, UNDP, and other international financing agencies.
Depending on the nature of the project and the country involved, projects in the fisheries sector can be financed from either the Fund for Special Operations or the Ordinary Capital of the Bank in accordance with the current guidelines of the use of these funds.
Prevailing Reference Document: GN-568-1, November 1969.
* The operational policies of the Inter-American Development Bank are intended to provide operational guidance to staff in assisting the Bank's borrowing member countries. Over the course of the Bank's more than 40 years of operations, the approach to developing operational policies has taken various forms, ranging from the preparation of detailed guidelines to broad statements of principle and intent. Many policies have not been updated since they were originally issued, and a few reflect emphases and approaches of earlier years which have been superseded by specific mandates of the Bank's Governors, the most recent being the Eighth Replenishment mandates of 1994.
In accordance with the Bank's information disclosure policy, the Bank is making all of its operational policies available to the public through the Public Information Center. Users please note that the Bank's operational policies are under a process of continuous review. This review process includes preparation of best practice papers summarizing experience at the Bank and other similar institutions, and sector strategy papers.