EU delegation informed of Seychelles’ fisheries plans


The EU delegation listening to presentations on Seychelles’ fisheries plans

Gathered in the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) training room, the EU parliamentarians heard how certain components of the Seychelles-EU Partnership Agreement are being implemented.

Present at the presentation and subsequent discussions were the Presidential Advisor on Environmental matters, Dr Rolph Payet, the SFA chairperson Veronique Herminie, and other senior government officials.

The SFA’s chief executive Finley Racombo outlined some of the body’s objectives - notably ensuring sustainable use of marine resources, maximising revenue from the fisheries sector, enhancing food supply and security and promoting Port Victoria as the main tuna port of the Indian Ocean.

Mr Racombo noted that three main fishing methods prevail in Seychelles. Artisanal fisheries, he said, involved some 350 boats powered by outboard engines and which operate for a maximum seven days and bring in a total of 4000 to 5000 metric tonnes of fish, mainly for domestic consumption.

Mr Racombo said the semi-industrial sector, involving 10 longliners, is a sector which Seychelles is seeking to expand with private sector participation. He said some EU funds will assist in the venture.

In the industrial fisheries, where European purse seiners have been present since 1984, the number of vessels has gone down from 57 in 2008 to 48 in 2009 and to just 35 last year, primarily because of pirate activity which has increased over the past three years in our part of the Indian Ocean.

Among recent developments in the fisheries sector noted are the building of two dolphin quays for purse seiners on Ile du Port as well as land allocation for shore based facilities, such as net repairs, salt storage, which can be relocated from Providence from where transportation aggravates traffic congestion.

The EU parliamentarians were also told of the Fisheries Development Fund, the aim of which is to encourage private sector involvement by maximising fish processing and use of by-catch.

Marine aquaculture is another area which could be a revenue earner for Seychelles. Some 16 sites have been identified around the inner islands with a total surface area of 52 square metres. Based on conservative production criteria, it has been calculated that could potentially yield 15,000 tonnes of fish a year.

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