New R2m grant for mariculture project


Discussing the agreement of the grant: (l to r, clockwise) Finley Racombo (SFA CEO), Michael Nalletamby (PS for Natural Resources and Industry), Minister Peter Sinon, Prof. Thomas Hecht, Dr Sloans Chimatiro
Photo by SFA: Mr. Finley Racombo, Mr. Michael Nalletamby, Mr. Peter Sinon, Prof. Thomas Hecht, Dr. Sloans Chimatiro.

The first phase of the project started in May 2011 and was completed in August 2011 by the consultancy group Advance Africa Management Services CC, the same consultancy group which Nepad has approved to carry out the second phase for reason of valid contract for the whole project from phase one.
The completion of phase two is expected in October 2013. 

The agreement for the grant was discussed at the end of last week with the Minister for Natural Resources and Industry Peter Sinon during the visit to Seychelles by Dr Sloans Chimatiro, the senior fisheries advisor of the Nepad Planning and Coordinating Agency.

The agreement for the second phase of the project is expected to be signed between the Nepad agency and the SFA before the end of this month and work is expected to start immediately after the signing. The second phase will be carried out during a five-month period.

The project is regarded as part of the Nepad agency’s support for the Seychelles National Food Security Policy which is being developed within the framework of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).

The mariculture master plan is aimed at enhancing the role of fish farming to food security and boost the contribution of fisheries to economic growth.

The development of mariculture will enable Seychelles to diversify the economies of fishing communities and improve the resilience of their livelihoods in the face of climate change.
It is important to note that CAADP is also a programme of Nepad designed specifically for Africa and which is strongly linked to the objectives of the mariculture master plan.

The development of mariculture in Seychelles ties well with the message in President James Michel’s state-of-the-nation address 2013: “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...”

Indeed, mariculture may become one of the promising sectors which can provide significant contribution to the country’s efforts to accrue more benefits from the ocean.

The Nepad agency is viewing Seychelles as a champion in regional and continental mariculture sustainability for Africa through the “blue economy” initiative.

The first part of the mariculture master plan consisted of gathering data and carrying out gap analysis and presenting these in an inception report. After considering the recommendation of the inception report, the Nepad agency has agreed to fund the continuation of the project, now in its second part. 

The goal of the mariculture master plan project in Seychelles is to develop, strengthen and integrate the key technical, regulatory, legislative and institutional mechanisms of the government in order to achieve sustainable mariculture development and create an enabling environment for investment.

The master plan provides the guidelines for private sector participation in the aquaculture subsector of the fisheries. Part of the support, US $20,000 (SCR240,000) from the total amount of the grant will go towards assisting the Seychelles Eco-labeling (certification) programme of the Seychelles hook-and-line fishermen. The eco-labeling scheme is using the market as an incentive to enhance the good management of the small-scale fisheries in Seychelles. 

The mariculture master plan project is being funded with a grant from Nepad agency’s Partnership for African Fisheries (PAF) which is funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID). The Seychelles government will also contribute to the project through equipment and services.

Historical background
The preliminary assessment of marine aquaculture in Seychelles was undertaken in 2007 under the aegis of Recomap (Regional Coastal Management Programme) of the Indian Ocean Commission.

In 2009, a scoping study was conducted to define marine aquaculture opportunities and to assess whether the country required a master plan to drive such initiative.

The bio-physical component of the study identified 16 sites around the inner islands with a total surface area of 52 square kilometres.

Fish farming in Seychelles will be mainly for grouper and yellowtail species and bourgeois among some other fish species. This will involve hatchery facilities with brood stock (spawning adults) for reproduction.  Fish that are produced will be kept in cages until they reach market size.

Even if only half of the production level is reached, the contribution to the national economy will still be significant and crucial in helping the country attain its goals as stipulated under the fisheries policy.

Stakeholder and private sector support for the development of marine aquaculture, and indeed, long-term sustainability, will be greatly enhanced through promoting and facilitating business and employment opportunities. Mariculture is expected to benefit the overall objectives of the government, through the SFA, of improving fisheries management and sustainability. This will be achieved through mariculture policies that will encourage fish farmers to adopt wild fish stock enhancement programmes in such sectors as artisanal and sea cucumber fishing.

Once the framework is in place there will be opportunities for small, medium and large scale aquaculture projects.  Potential production value could be in excess of US $100 million.


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