Port Victoria Harbour Limit extended-Bigger harbour area for more efficiency


The coordinates of the newly extended area (see figure 1), which has already been registered by the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO), have been charted and published worldwide.

The Port Victoria Harbour Limit is defined as the maritime geographic boundary within which the SPA has jurisdiction to exercise its functions and powers pursuant to the SPA Act 2004.

These functions and powers, sanctioned by the Harbour Master’s Office, include:
• Authorisation for foreign vessels to enter inner harbour limit in line with inspections by local authorities such as Health, Customs, Immigration, among others;

• Allocation of anchoring positions;

• Authorisation for vessels to leave inner harbour limit;

• Deployment of tugs and Port Launches for services such as crew change, pilotage, towage, provision of supplies to ship at anchorage,  as well as any other services as requested by ship owners or agents;

• Oversight on the provision and maintenance of navigational aids within the port as well as co-ordinate responses to emergencies reported by vessels.

In line with the SPA’s strategy to improve efficiency, thus making Port Victoria the region’s favourite port of call, the authority re-assessed its ability to exercise its functions and powers within the mandated Victoria Port Harbour limit.

As such, it was concluded that the former delimitation posed both legal and operational challenges that needed review. 

In consultation with the government, SPA found the need to extend the Port Victoria Harbour limit, and in May 2012, this jurisdiction was officially extended by law.

One of the aims of the extension is to provide adequate official anchorage points for as many vessels as possible.
From a legal standpoint, it will allow SPA to administer all vessels at anchor more effectively and minimise adverse environmental risks as well as legal exposures. 

The extended jurisdiction also makes provision for more space to cater for vessels in distress. As in all ports, this type of activity motivates local businesses to increase their capacity in order to service these types of vessels and in return to create additional economic activities.

SPA has said that it has a strong deployment capacity that can allow it to service the new extended Victoria Harbour limit area and access the extreme coordinates within a reasonable timeframe.
It is to note however that the respective mandate of the other agencies and authorities such as the Ministry of Health, Seychelles Revenue Commission, Immigration, National Drugs Enforcement Agency, the Seychelles Police, Seychelles Coast Guard, and Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration remains the same.  

For the benefit of mariners, the legal definitions of the former and the new Port Victoria Harbour Limit are as follows:


The area in the Harbour of Victoria within a line from North Point (04 degree 33.6 minutes South 055 degrees 26.4 minutes East) running east to longitude 055 degrees 32.0 minutes East, thence South the Northern most tip of SE Island (04 degrees 40.55 South, 0550 32 minutes East).


 Starting at Mahe Island bearing 0000  by 4.6 nautical miles (Lat 040 53’ S; Long 0550  31’ E), thence by a straight line in a North Easterly direction to Fregate Island bearing 2760 by 5.9 nautical miles (Lat 040  36’S; Long 0560 03’ S), thence by a straight line in a North North Westerly direction to Grande Soeur Island bearing 2300 by 7.7 nautical miles (Lat 040 12’ S; Long 0550 58’ E), thence by a straight line in a Westerly direction to Aride Island bearing 0940  by 7.5 nautical miles (Lat 040 12’ S; Long 0550 32’ E), thence by a straight line in a North North Westerly direction to North Island bearing  1150 by 7 nautical miles (Lat 040 20’ S; Long 0550 08’ E), thence by a straight line in a Southerly direction to Silhouette Island bearing 0300 by 10.8 nautical miles (Lat 040 40’ S; Long 0550 08’ E) back to the starting point at Mahe Island bearing 0000 by 4.6 nautical miles.


The extended and former Port Victoria Harbour Limits compared