According to Udo Karg, chairman of the Surinamese Seafood Association, the fact that Surinamese do not work in the fish sector is a misunderstanding of people about Surinamese and the fish sector. Karg says that a huge number of Surinamese work in the fishing industry. The sector offers employment to about 5000 to 8000 families in Suriname.
Krag said that what is meant is that Surinamese do not go to sea to fish themselves. According to him, this is because the average Surinamese did not grow up as a fisherman, but rather as a farmer and later with office jobs. Karg said that fishing has to be in you. You must have grown up with it
Although a large part of the fishermen come from abroad, he said that most have become Surinamese in the meantime. They came to Suriname in the 60s, 70s and 80s and came from fishing families.
Krag said that they have been here for three to four generations, but it’s a part of them. They have chosen that as their profession, especially for that part that we call population fishing. In the other type of fishery, in particular trawling, there are more Surinamese, because they acquired this knowledge during the development of the large shrimp fishery. Some of them then passed it on to their children.
Most fishermen are foreigners. The crew of a number of trawling boats comes from abroad, sometimes all the way from the Philippines. The snapper fishery is mainly practiced by Venezuelans, but with the explicit licensing conditions that everything caught in Suriname must be delivered, processed and exported from Suriname. The same goes for tuna fisheries.