Local fishermen compete for charity


07-May-2012

As opposed to other big fishing competitions organised locally, this one targets artisanal fishers who are members of the association.

The sale from the catch, plus funds collected through sponsorship, are all directed towards the cost of agreed expenses for an identified PFA member or his family as an aid to sustain their livelihood.

The first competition of the sort last year proved to be very successful. Over 20 boats took part and the collected fund was used to support one of the fishers’ widow whose husband unfortunately drowned at sea the year before.

This year, the PFA executive board and its members have unanimously agreed to help one of their active members – Cibert Rose.

Mr Rose urgently needs an eye operation as he still feels he has the strength and ability to keep practicing his career, sustain his family and contribute more to the fisheries sector.

Mr Rose will get assistance from the charity competition

The ‘coup d’envoi’ for the 2012 edition took place in the afternoon of Saturday April 28. A total of 13 boats, of which four in the large boat category and nine in the small boat category, were registered.

The fishermen had one whole day to come back with the highest loads they could get as well as the best in each fish category in terms of weight; these included examples such as the best bourgeois, karang, bekin, zob, tuna, bordomar, bekbek, galate and sailfish.

As the fishers landed on the small beach (Anse Bois de Rose) near the Coco de Mer Hotel, they had their catch weighed before loading them onto the truck for sale.  Interestingly, we came across a 17kg karang and an 11kg bourgeois which grabbed the best prize in its category; other catches were equally interesting.

Competitors gathering the catch at Anse Bois De RoseSunday 29 was dedicated to the family and friends of the fishers community as they got together in a special lunch organised by the association and their partners. Late afternoon, prizes were awarded to the overall winners from each category: In the small boat category the first prize went to Elvis Dingwall and his team. The second prize was awarded to Edwine Kanny and team and the team of Richard Bossy received the third prize in this category. For the larger boat, Gilbert Lesperance won the first prize, followed by the team of Pierre Grandcourt as the second winner, while Darell Green and his team came out third.

In total the fishermen brought in 1.7 tonnes of fish all of which were dispatched for sale to several hotels on the island. Besides the winners, all fishermen in the competition were given a token of appreciation by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), represented by its Environment programme officer Roland Alcindor, who has been a major supporter of the PFA from its inception to date.

In fact the formation of the PFA is one of the results of the ‘Mainstreaming Biodiversity into production sectors’ project currently being carried out by the UNDP and the Seychelles Project Coordinating Unit. Also present at the event was Veronique Bonnelame, the national coordinator for the Global Environment Fund (GEF) Small Grant Programme (SGP) which funded the first PFA donor project that helped with research on the kordonnyen species on Praslin and the long-term livelihood of the fishers that will eventually lead to co-management of fishing grounds on the island. This project has largely helped in achieving some major outputs of the Mainstreaming Biodiversity (MBD) project works and empowered the PFA to build partnership and work in closer collaboration with the Seychelles Fisheries Authority to achieve and contribute to the global objectives of the MBD project. The GEF SGP project is now coming to an end, but the fishermen acknowledge that the result of their preliminary research will lead them to now take further action to protect the critical habitat of the species on Praslin.

As a result, the PFA will work with its established partners to carry out a second donor-funded project, this time by the Mangroves For the Future, MFF initiative. To this effect the PFA members and their family witnessed on the day the signing of a new contract by chairperson Darell Green and the MFF national coordinator Lyndy Bastienne as they prepare for a new venture into fisheries research and community awareness of the matter at hand.

Before they officially closed the GEF SGP project, Ms Bonnelame presented a souvenir to the 30 fishermen who took part in the project in appreciation for their hard work into the research. These fishermen had to go out several times a day including in moments of difficult weather to get the kordonnyen on board the SFA vessel for tagging and releasing back to sea.
To end the day, the PFA had some other small surprises for the participants; these included a glass trophy for the overall winners and a final item on the day’s agenda was a very interesting auction sale of some useful items such as radio-alarm clock, watch and pen set for ladies and gentlemen. Overall, it was another successful annual event for this small grass root association which gave rendez-vous for next year.

Mr Green said it is a learning process for the PFA and its esteemed members.
“As we progress, we shall look for further opportunities and activities to get our fishermen and the general public to understand the importance of conserving our fisheries resources and utilising them in a sustainable manner for future generations to follow suit.”

“We look forward to next year’s event which I believe will be even better than the two previous ones,” said one PFA member Fred Lesperance.

Members of the PFA would like to thank their families, partners and friends for their support and especially the following hotels, businesses and individuals who provided many forms of sponsorship, contributing largely to the success of the event:

SFA, the UNDP, GEF SGP, the MFF initiative, Paradise Hotel, MAS Supermarket, Grand Anse Petrol Station, Rajamalayam S/Market, SA Pillay Shop/B.S.A,  Bertrand, Aden Shop, Darell Green, Louis Bossy/ Ti Shot Enterprise, Palm Beach Hotel, L’Archipel  Hotel, La Reserve Hotel, Coco De Mer Hotel, Le Duc de Praslin Hotel, Berjaya Beach, Indian Ocean Lodge, Maia, Mike Morel c/o Super Value, J &B Supplies, Takamaka Bay, Raffles Hotel, Lemuria Hotel, Chalet Cote de Mer, KKL Supplies, Pascal Andre, Mr/Mrs Touhitou, Castello Hotel, Luc Grandcourt, Nature Seychelles/Cousin island.

PFA chairperson Darell Green signs a new contract with the MFF initiative to protect the critical habitat of the kordonnyen

PFA is grateful to all the support and hopes that the same and more support can come their way throughout the year as they work towards improving the livelihoods of their fishers community on Praslin and in their effort to help the national and global objective in sustaining the marine resources.

Contributed by the PFA, the UNDP, GEF - SGP and the MFF Seychelles initiative

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