Interview with Minister Peter Sinon following President James Michel’s visit at the SFA and fisherie-‘Processing plants will add value to fish caught in Seychelles waters’


Minister Sinon (right, foreground) accompanying President Michel and his delegation on Tuesday’s visit

Natural Resources and Industry Minister Peter Sinon said this in an interview on Tuesday after accompanying President James Michel and his delegation on a visit of the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) and fisheries related infrastructure.

The fish processing plants are being built by the SFA at a cost of R50 million.
“The president wants to see things happen and we have to allocate land to local investors. On zone 14, the 120-metre industrial tuna finishing port is being built and we have to provide utilities – water, electricity and road (at least the main arteries) – for the investors to start their businesses,” said Minister Sinon.

The minister added: “We are discussing with the World Bank to get the necessary financing and we have to understand that institutions like the World Bank have a lot of procedures to follow and it takes quite a long time for them to approve the funding of any project. Among the criteria for financing is how will the region benefit from the project.

“The fisheries industry is growing so rapidly and following President Michel’s visit to Sri Lanka last year, local entrepreneurs have borrowed money from the Development Bank of Seychelles to build 14 boats in Sri Lanka. The Bank of Ceylon of Sri Lanka will also give loans to local entrepreneurs, while Sri Lankan investors have shown interest to set up their boat building businesses here.”
With the 14 new boats arriving soon, Minister Sinon says the SFA will have to expand the Providence artisanal port.

“We have to plan now as we don’t want to see congestion in port. Not long ago, our infrastructure projects stood still and the European Union funding had accumulated to reach 8 million euros over two years. We have now used 6.5 million euros and we expect to receive another 2 million euros this year. This money is not enough to complete the other projects.

“Following his visit, the president has given us the green light to forge ahead with the numerous projects and he has assured us that he will be willing to bring new projects with him on overseas missions and look for financing,” explained Minister Sinon.

He noted that the piracy threat has helped Seychelles develop skills it didn’t have before, like having vehicle monitoring system (VMS) on all boats, and establishing a monitoring unit within the SFA.

The minister added that he is happy his ministry, the SFA, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Transport, and the Seychelles Ports Authority are all working in partnership to get the projects off the ground.

“It is this kind of partnership that makes things happen and in a structured manner,” he said, adding that Seychelles is seen as one of the countries in the region with the best fisheries facilities and administrative policy.

“The SFA’s governance of the country’s fisheries policy is well liked by many countries like the Comoros, Rodrigues island, Mozambique and Tanzania who have made formal requests for Seychellois expertise in helping them set up their own fisheries policy and the monitoring of purse seiners,” said Minister Sinon.