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This Week We Feature Young Professional Zacchari W. Stoutt

Zacchari W. Stoutt is a popular fisherman from the fishing village of Carrot Bay in the [British] Virgin Islands. Photo: VINO
Posing with the 'catch of the day' back in May 2009. Photo: Facebook
Posing with the 'catch of the day' back in May 2009. Photo: Facebook
Zacchari W. Stoutt prides himself as a lobster catcher. Photo: VINO
Zacchari W. Stoutt prides himself as a lobster catcher. Photo: VINO
Zacchari W. Stoutt is a proud fisherman from the cultural village of Carrot Bay in the Virgin Islands. Photo: Provided
Zacchari W. Stoutt is a proud fisherman from the cultural village of Carrot Bay in the Virgin Islands. Photo: Provided
Zacchari W. Stoutt with his son Zekiel. Photo: Provided
Zacchari W. Stoutt with his son Zekiel. Photo: Provided
By Reuben J. A. Stoby

Our Young Professional for this week wanted to become an inventor, was studying to become a doctor but found out that his strongest passion was to become a fisherman in the Virgin Islands, just like his proud and popular fisherman dad, Albert Stoutt.

Zacchari W. Stoutt has been making a name for himself not just as a skilled fisherman, but as a Virgin Islander who is always willing to play a part in adding to the tourism experience in the Virgin Islands during his many interactions with tourists.

Such is his friendly personality and vast knowledge of the sea, fishing, and preparing fish and lobsters, that repeat visitors to the Virgin Islands would often seek him out to add to their visiting experience.

The young fisherman and former lifeguard, who particularly enjoys lobster catching, has also been leading calls for Government to protect the livelihood of local fishermen, which he believes is under threat in the Virgin Islands.

Young inventor to fisherman

A product of Ivan Dawson Primary School and the then BVI High School, Zach, as he is mostly referred to, had a knack for making modifications of scooters, go-karts, and even cannons, which sometimes caused the police to confiscate his ‘inventions’.

He recalled making a motorised scooter with the engine of his father’s weedwhacker and after that was seized by police, he made a go-kart after working with his father at sea and saved his money to buy a weedwhacker to use its engine. That too was seized by the police!

After his mother had taken him on a tour of a pirate ship, Zach became interested in the cannons and proceeded to make one using PVC pipes, hair spray and potatoes. Soon the police were looking for him.

Zach said it was those experiences with the police that swayed his mind from becoming an inventor.

After his father wanted him to become a doctor, Zach was sent to South Africa to study; however, the call of the sea, fishing, and the culture of the Virgin Islands were too strong.

As a young boy, Zach had marveled at how much of a skilled fisherman his father was, and, along with his younger brother Andrew, they would go lobster fishing without their father’s knowledge.

Zach said one time he and his brother were caught lobster fishing by his father, but instead of punishing them, he sold their catch and gave them the money. From then on, Mr Albert Stoutt would teach his sons the art of catching lobster and fishing.

"My dad really wanted me to become a doctor, but it wasn't until one day I called him frustrated and said... 'Dad, I have a question for you. If a hawk gets raised with chickens will that hawk become a chicken?'"

"He said, 'No Zach, he will always be a hawk'. I said 'If a hawk is raised with chickens and still be a hawk how do you expect a fisherman to become a doctor?' He said 'Zach, come home.'"

The joy of being a fisherman!

“One thing I didn’t like about life-guarding, was it became too repetitive. I could guarantee with fishing, it is not the same thing every day,” adding that the thrill of catching a lobster or chasing a fish is what makes his work enjoyable.

Another thing that gives him gratification is knowing that he is from a fishing village and many people depend on him to bring in a good catch.

“It’s a great feeling. It makes you feel like you are appreciated and respected…to see the joy in the faces of people when they get the type of fish they want is something that makes me want to go out and do it again and again…to see the absolute appreciation and joy in people’s faces.”


Zach lamented that the authorities have continually been making it harder for local fishermen and that they are often ‘harassed’ at sea and fishing equipment seized.

He said the fishermen are often told that there is a reduction in fish or shellfish population; however, no one consults with the local fishermen on this but instead introduces laws that were meant for other countries with overfishing problems.

One of those laws is a ban on spearfishing.

“From the time I was 8, 9, 10 I have been spearfishing. We had an exemption for spearfishing so my family has always been spearfishing.”

He noted while there are efforts to lift the ban on spearfishing it is taking too long, as fishermen have mouths to feed and bills to pay.

“However, this is the first time since I have been 9 years or so that spearfishing is being enforced and they have officially taken eight spearguns from me. Even now police are still taking from me," Zach lamented.

“People rely on me to catch fish and work and they are stopping me from doing that.”

Zach also shared concerns that the authorities have been telling fishermen they cannot use scuba gear to dive for fish at certain depths, adding, that they are putting fishermen at risk because they now have to free dive to where the fish are in abundance.

A man in demand!

Being a fisherman and a skilled scuba diver, Zach is always in demand and whenever he is not fishing there is always a job waiting for him, “I am always rigging for something, or preparing lobster sticks for the upcoming season, or just making things.”

Whenever there are tragedies on the water also, Zach is sometimes called upon to retrieve equipment and even bodies.

“I know and learned everything from my father. I always admired my father growing up. My mom [Cassie Stoutt] was also my biggest pusher as well…my mom would always encourage me to aspire to be the best at everything I do and I have always tried to do that.”

He also said the friendly competition with his younger brother Andrew also pushes him to be the best he can be.

“If I see him doing something better than me I have to try to outshine him. It’s just a friendly, healthy rivalry just to keep him on point,” Zach said with a laugh.

Advise to young persons

"The rule of thumb for me is to learn a life skill for sure. One thing with a skill, it can take you somewhere. The fewer people you have to rely on and the more you could do for yourself, the better,” Zach shared. 

He said there is nothing wrong with being a jack of all trades; however, he believes there should be mastery in a few.

17 Responses to “This Week We Feature Young Professional Zacchari W. Stoutt”

  • Citizen (07/07/2023, 18:12) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    Well done young man. Keep doing what you do and God's protective Spirit be with you. Don't for get God.
  • diane (07/07/2023, 18:15) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    What a beautiful story. You should be an inspiration to many young persons in this community. Don't give up your fight to do what you love. It will be all worth it soon
  • Round here (07/07/2023, 19:38) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    A great guy is Zack. A real local poster boy for the BVI
  • am (07/07/2023, 19:48) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Zach! Such a refreshing perspective! Check you out not sticking to the beaten path! It takes courage to chart your own course! Keep going! Love your zest and zeal for life! Hope to mee you one day, maybe even learn how to spearfish! Bless Up!
  • Styler (07/07/2023, 21:59) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Awesome story Zack... continue doing what you love best. Your Dad though you well God blessings on you
  • OH WOW (07/07/2023, 22:13) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    Not only can he fish, He’’s also handsome as well.
  • Know Won (08/07/2023, 07:13) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    This was so heart warming to read. Keep being the voice for the fisherman and keep following your passion.
  • Good Piece (08/07/2023, 08:28) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    What a beautiful piece. This is a well grounded individual. Your parents have done an awesome job
    May God be a fence around you as you go out on the waters. Awesome beautiful story
  • asura (08/07/2023, 08:35) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    another young strong black man doing great things
  • Nice (08/07/2023, 09:16) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Cool guy, respect is due to Mr Stoutt for his great journey and achievements.
    HOWEVER: Yes, fishermen need support but the truth is fish and reefs all over the world are dying. The BVI’s reefs have declined about 80% in the last 30 years. There is a crisis of health on those reefs no matter what certain fishermen say. So this thing about spearfishing with scuba tanks is madness. Almost everywhere in the world it is banned because one person can do so much damage. Spear fishermen everywhere consider it to be a disgusting way to hunt fish - cheating, and a fast way to kill everything you want without even holding your breath.
    Ban spears with tanks, like everywhere else. Legalize it for local/registered people using one breath-one shot-one fish method. That’s just common sense.
    And Mr Stoutt will still stand tall as a great ocean man in the BVI. The above criticism is not against him, just the lawmakers.
    • John Crow (08/07/2023, 17:05) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      If the government would stop pumping the s&?t in the water the reef that’s on the path of the flow all are dead. The government has a big part in this.
  • Xxx (08/07/2023, 15:00) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    This young man is going places
  • ???? (08/07/2023, 15:27) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    Good story but is a fisherman a professional?
  • Anonymous (08/07/2023, 16:27) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am so proud of this young man! It says you can make it in any field. The BVI is a good place. Big Ups Mr. Stoutt
  • ausar (08/07/2023, 16:33) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Young man, you have followed your heart. And this is what our young people need to do- follow their heart. So many of our young people were dissuaded from pursuing their dreams,but you,-you, have succeeded

  • guy hill (08/07/2023, 22:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Always continue to do and be your very best. Be Brave.
  • Teacher Sharon (10/07/2023, 18:06) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Look at you Zach! I am so proud of you! You’ve grown into an inspiring young man from the little boy I taught at Ivan Dawson Primary School so many years ago. May Jehovah continue to bless and keep you and your young one.

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