Country Listing

Nicaragua Table of Contents





Fishing boats and small launches at Bluefields on the Caribbean coast
Courtesy Nicaraguan Tourism Institute

Fishing and Forestry

Although fishing has long been a source of food for the domestic market in Nicaragua, the rich fishing grounds of the Caribbean began to be exploited for export of shrimp and lobster only in the 1980s. A 1987 loan by the IDB allowed the country to double the size of its fishing fleet to ninety boats. However, damage by Hurricane Joan in 1988 to the two processing plants and the United States trade embargo in 1985 kept production levels far below the potential catch. Restoration of trade with the United States in 1990 did produce a surge in exports, and the government hoped that fishing would provide a significant share of export earnings in the 1990s.

Nicaragua has extensive forests, and despite the large-scale clearing for agricultural use, about one-third of the land, or approximately 4 million hectares, was still forested in 1993. Most of the forests consist of the tropical rain forests of the Caribbean lowlands, where surface transportation is practically nonexistent. Hardwoods abound in this region, but the stands are mixed with other wood, making exploitation difficult. However, some logging of mahogany, cedar, rosewood, and logwood for dyes takes place. In addition, the large stands of pine in the northeast support logging and a small plywood industry.

Data as of December 1993