Flying fish: Icon of Barbados under threat


Flying fish, the undisputed icon of Barbados, features as the main ingredient in the national dish, is printed inside its passport and stamped on the one-dollar coin. But in recent years the number of flying fish has declined, driving up prices to the point that the island’s staple food is now becoming a luxury. The Down to Earth team went to find out more.


Multiple theories exist for the fall in numbers, but most of them point to climate change, which has both forced the fish to flee to cooler waters further from the coast and contributed to the massive influx of sargassum. Since the arrival of the brown algae in the Caribbean in 2011, flying fish landings have plummeted by almost 50 percent.

Today the government, researchers and international organisations are working to help fishermen adapt to this changing climate while preserving the symbol of a nation.

Report filmed in partnership with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

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