President James Michel visits the SFA and fisheries related infrastructure-‘Our blue economy has great potential’


President James Michel said this yesterday when speaking to journalists at the end of a visit to the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA), the Victoria artisanal fishing port, the Providence artisanal fishing port as well as the construction project for the 120-metre quay of the industrial tuna fishing port at Ile du Port.
The visit is the first in a series the President will undertake to work places this year.

President Michel sharing a light-hearted moment with some fishermen at the artisanal fishing port

Mr Michel was accompanied on yesterday’s visit by Natural Resources and Industry Minister Peter Sinon, Home Affairs and Transport Minister Joel Morgan, secretary general in the Office of the President Lise Bastienne, natural resources and industry principal secretary Michael Nalletamby and SFA chief executive Finley Racombo.

At the artisanal ishing port in Victoria

Also there were members of the board and the management of the SFA, the Seychelles Ports Authority, and senior officials from the Office of the President and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Industry.

Following a discussion and a short projection on projects undertaken by the SFA, President Michel visited the authority’s monitoring, control and satellite system where he was briefed by chief monitoring and surveillance officer Roddy Allisop, followed by the training room and research laboratories where chief research officer Calvin Gerry gave a brief description of what happens there.

 Chief monitoring and surveillance officer Roddy Allisop briefing the presidential delegation on the SFA’s monitoring, control and satellite system

The President said that the visit was an opportunity to explore the potential for the expansion of the fisheries sector, which is the second pillar of the economy.

“The blue economy will be crucial for our future. It has enormous potential. We need to ensure that we maximise the benefits from the resources of our ocean, rather than let them be exploited by large foreign companies. By developing projects such as the industrial tuna fishing port and the fish processing plants, we are empowering our Seychellois fishermen to have facilities to be able to process and export tuna, as well as value added products, so that more of our resources from marine life are beneficial for Seychellois,” said President Michel.

The President said he was encouraged by the progress he has seen in the fisheries sector and also commended the SFA for its work to monitor fisheries activity, illegal fisheries and develop scientific research programmes, as well as building facilities that will benefit the fishing community.

 Visiting the training room and research laboratories

“The SFA is doing a good job with several important and ambitious projects. I congratulate them on their efforts and ask them to continue looking for additional funds for fisheries projects, to develop infrastructure and give new services to the fishing community.

“I also congratulate the fishermen of our country who are doing a marvellous job, a noble job, for their country. They are creating wealth, bringing food to our tables and continuing to uphold our maritime heritage. We need to ensure they have access to credit facilities in order to grow their businesses.”

President Michel met several fishermen who were at the fishing ports and spoke to them about their challenges at sea, including piracy. They also spoke about the lack of new entrants into the fishing sector and the need for skilled seamen.

President Michel and his entourage at the Providence artisanal port

Mr Michel noted that young people need to be encouraged within the entire school system to take up fisheries as a valuable and important maritime career, and once they are trained they need to be encouraged to stay in this field and develop this important heritage for the country.

At Ile du Port where work on a 120-metre wide quay is in full swing

Work on the 120-metre wide quay on zone 14 at Ile du Port to be used by purse seiners to load salt and also handle tuna for processing as well as nets for repair is being done by Vijay Construction.


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