Boat skippers voice concerns over constraints affecting their business


27-September-2012

The meeting between Minister St Ange and boat owners and skippers

The boat skippers claim that they are being refused access to beaches on some privately owned islands, where they also have mooring problems.

The chairman of the Boat Skippers Association, Gilbert Victor, said the situation was particularly bad on North, Fregate and Denis Islands. 

He said boats taking tourists on island-hopping tours are often refused access to the beach and told they need permits to go ashore.

Mr Victor said island-hopping is the best way to discover Seychelles and most visitors are inclined to stop at beautiful beaches to dive or snorkel.

“Unfortunately, at North Island, we are told that they had an exclusive clientele and we cannot land.”

Attention was also drawn to the fact that some foreign boat skippers drop anchor anywhere, crushing corals, dump rubbish overboard inshore and even fish in marine parks, in flagrant disregard of environmental conservation regulations.

Mr St Ange said his ministry considers the sea and boating as a major component of the tourism industry. He said after listening to the concerns and constraints, he will do his best to act as a “go-between” between all parties involved.

Mr St Ange said he does not consider the issue as a massive challenge and expects after consultations they will be solved.

He expects to meet the boat owners and skippers again in a few weeks’ time with clear guidelines.
“Problems have arisen because perhaps we did not deal with the situation on time, but let the problems run,” he said, adding he is convinced the issues can be resolved to the satisfaction of everyone.

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