Stay connected with us
around the nation »

International Development in Latin America and the Caribbean

Participants learn to identify shark species using dried fins at the CITES Regional Workshop on Sharks, Recife, Brazil.

Local Colombian fishermen being trained on how to use turtle excluder devices (TEDs). TEDs are used by shrimp boats to allow entangled sea turtles to escape.

Other Links/Resources

The United States imports nearly $3 billion worth of fisheries products from Latin America and the Caribbean annually. Most of the countries in the region are overwhelmed by the increasing demand for their fisheries products, while many lack the necessary management and/or enforcement capacity to sustainably manage their marine resources. Conservation activities or their lack in countries outside the United States can either enhance or undermine our own fisheries management and conservation efforts.

As our nearest neighbor, Latin America and the Caribbean share with the United States many marine species, in both targeted fisheries and bycatch. The United States works through regional fisheries management organizations, intergovernmental bodies such as the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) Exit and OSPESCA Exit (the regional organization for the fisheries sector of Central America), and through direct engagement with other countries and non-governmental organizations to promote science-based fisheries management and conservation in the region.

Our international development efforts in Latin America and the Caribbean focus on the following three priority areas:  

(1) Combatting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing;

(2) Building capacity of Latin American/Caribbean countries to sustainably manage their fisheries resources; and

(3) Supporting the recovery of protected species.

Examples of recent projects

Central/South America


  • Support training on effective use of turtle excluder devices on the Colombian Caribbean and Pacific coasts (in cooperation with Conservation International Exit);
  • Continue ongoing collaboration with CORALINA Exit (the management authority for the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve), the fisheries department of San Andrés, the National Fisheries Authority Exit and the Ministry of Environment Exit of Colombia to showcase Colombia’s leadership in the regulation of queen conch, an important fisheries species listed in Appendix II of CITES;
  • Continue to provide training to fisheries and enforcement personnel on management and enforcement in marine protected areas and adjacent waters in both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts of Colombia.


For questions about our international development efforts in the Caribbean and Latin America, please contact Christopher Rogers (