EU hails quality of Seychelles tuna


07-November-2011

The European Union’s Fisheries Committee team visiting the fishing port

European Parliamentarian Carmen Fraga Estévez said this at a press conference on Friday which marked the end of a visit by her team, from the European Union’s (EU) Fisheries Committee.

During their visit they met President James Michel and Vice-President Danny Faure at State House, visited the fishing port and the IOT factory as well as the Seychelles Bureau of Standards, which helps maintain the high quality of Seychelles tuna which, is mainly exported to Europe.

Mrs Fraga Estévez said the negative publicity currently being waged by some people in the UK against tuna – claiming purse seiners which catch tuna also threaten dolphins – is an unfair crusade fueled by the media.

Investment, Natural Resources and Industry Minister Peter Sinon said the campaign should not worry us as it is just another challenge like others we have overcome.

Mr Sinon said Seychelles’ track record for conservation is well known worldwide, adding Seychelles is itself very keen to control by-catch and has invested a lot in studies and action to ensure fisheries remain sustainable.

Minister Sinon (second left) and Mrs Fraga Estévez (centre) during the press conference

He said even the campaigners themselves eat fish and they know of our conservation efforts because organisations like Greenpeace are often invited to contribute to species preservation efforts.

Mr Sinon noted Seychelles tuna industry recently saw sea temperatures drop and force tuna southward, denying the IOT adequate raw materials “as most of the tuna vessels sailed south in pursuit of the fish”.

He also talked of the challenge brought by pirates, which had at one time seen tuna vessels anchored at Port Victoria.

Mrs Fraga Estévez – whose team also visited the Seychelles Coast Guard base – commended Seychelles for the anti-piracy efforts.

Her team expressed their solidarity with the Seychellois, particularly the families of the two fishermen who were at the weekend confirmed to have been seized by pirates and taken to Somalia.
She said her delegation was praying for them.

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