Ile du Port to get R54m fishing quay


Messrs Racombo (left) and Patel signing the contract for the work

A contract for the work was signed yesterday at Caravelle House by chief executive Finley Racombo of the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) on behalf of the government, and managing director Vijay Patel of Vijay Construction Pty (Ltd) who will build the tuna fishing quay on Ile du Port, also known as Zone 14.

Among those who witnessed the signing were Natural Resources and Industry Minister Peter Sinon, Nathalie Gowers from the British High Commission who represented the EU, and the SFA board chairman Philippe Michaud and its members.

Also there was Charles Pool who has been contracted as an independent consultant to the project and who will supervise civil works.

Mr Sinon said the fishing industry is one of the main pillars and revenue earners of our economy but we have to keep investing in it as it faces stiff competition from neighbouring countries.

“In view of the ongoing development of the fisheries sector both locally and in the region and its importance to the Seychelles economy, the government decided to allocate about 30 hectares of land on Ile du Port to the fisheries sector,” he said.

Part of the planned development for Zone 14 is to build the fishing quay – which was approved by the cabinet of ministers in 2006 – and to allocate plots of land for businesses and services related to fisheries.

Initially, under the Integrated Industrial Fisheries Development Plan, the concept was to build two dolphin quays on Ile du Port but this was later changed to just one elongated quay which can later be extended on both ends. The elongated fishing quay will measure 120 metres in length and span 30 metres.

It will serve as a logistics base for the industrial tuna purse seiner fleet to land their catches, and will also be suitable for the loading and unloading of fishing nets and salt.

Future plans include using the quay for transshipment as well.
It will be able to accommodate tuna boats and reefer ships not more than 4,200 tonnes and lengths between 80 to 110 metres with drafts not longer than eight metres.

Ships will berth in parallel, with one being tied along the quay and the rest alongside each other.

“Building of this quay has come at a significant time when there is increasing competition in the region as countries try to promote their ports. It is important that Seychelles also does fisheries port development to maintain its position as the main tuna landing/transshipment port in the Indian Ocean,” Mr Sinon said, adding the new quay will help cut congestion at the main fishing port and commercial quay in Victoria which also need to be repaired.

He said the new quay will open up the development of the surrounding land on Ile du Port which is currently lying idle resulting in loss of revenue, noting there will be storage for salt and other items and nets “will no longer need to be transported elsewhere for repairs as is the case now”.

He told Nation with a lull in piracy, fishing activities are catching up again, and thanks to armed guards on Seychelles flag fliers, there have been no attacks on the industrial ships many of which are coming back to fish in our waters.

He said the economy will benefit from the setting up of new businesses, land rent, port dues, pilot/tug fees, stevedoring, and other revenues which are brought in by the industrial tuna purse seiners, creating more employment.

Mr Sinon also thanked the SFA board and staff whom he said have worked hard to ensure the project’s launch.

He thanked the EU for funding the project, which it is doing through the financial contribution it gives Seychelles under the Fisheries Partnership Agreement.

Mr Patel said the project has been on the drawing board for some time, and he is happy this time he won the contract through a very transparent tender process.

Building of the quay is a joint collaboration between the Seychelles Ports Authority (SPA) and the SFA. Although after completion, the quay will be managed by the SPA.