IOTC executive secretary calls on President James Michel-‘Long line fishery good opportunity for Seychelles’


Messrs Payet (centre) and Anganuzzi (left) with President Michel yesterday at State House

Mr Payet was speaking to the media after making a courtesy call on President James Michel at State House yesterday morning. He was accompanied by the outgoing executive secretary Alejandro Anganuzzi.

President Michel commended Mr Payet on being elected IOTC executive secretary last year, noting that Seychelles' expertise and leadership in the regional fisheries organisation has been recognised with his election.

Former chief executive of the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) and also former chairman of the IOTC, Mr Payet was elected executive secretary during the 16th session of the IOTC held on Saturday April 21, 2012 in Freemantle, Australia.

His office is at the Le Chantier Mall and he is starting his first three-year term in office this month.

Mr Payet said he discussed with President Michel about the tuna stocks in Seychelles waters and in the Indian Ocean and how the Seychelles government, the SFA and the IOTC can work in partnership.

“We discussed the issues, challenges and opportunities facing tuna fishing in Seychelles waters. The tuna stock is good, but Seychelles and the other 30 members of the IOTC are now working on how to share the stock of tuna, which is a migratory species. We also discussed the projects of the IOTC, including work towards regional compliance of fisheries management measures, future mechanisms for fisheries stock allocation, research as well as the status of tuna stocks. On the other hand, Seychelles stands to gain a lot from long line fishery,” said Mr Payet, who added that the IOTC will continue to give technical and strategic support to Seychelles.

He noted that his main ambition is to be able to coordinate the efforts of all the member countries for better management and improve economic returns of the tuna fisheries for all the coastal states in the Indian Ocean.

He was one of three shortlisted candidates out of 30 applicants for the post of executive secretary.

In his presentation outlining his strategy and vision for the IOTC secretariat as part of the election process, Mr Payet listed his main focus areas as improving scientific advice and artisanal catch systems, assisting developing countries in adhering to a comfortable level of compliance and data streaming, establishing effective mechanisms assisting the coastal states to address their constraints, and influence financing mechanisms in tuna fisheries research, management and capacity building.

After serving for seven years (from 2002 to July 2009) as chief executive of the SFA, Mr Payet became in August 2009 the regional executive secretary, South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Project, a World Bank multi-million funded research project for improved management of fish stocks in the region, including tuna.

In 2009, he received the Chevalier de L’Ordre National du Mérite Agricole from the French Government for “distinguished achievement in fisheries”. He has a BSc in Fisheries Science and Oceanography, a Masters degree in Marine and Coastal Resource Management, earned with Distinction, a Postgraduate Diploma in GIS and Fisheries Management and a Masters in Business Administration.

Mr Payet formerly served as chairman of the IOTC, an intergovernmental organisation mandated to manage tuna and tuna-like species in the Indian Ocean and adjacent seas.

Its objective is to promote cooperation among its members with a view to ensuring, through appropriate management, the conservation and optima utilisation of stocks and encouraging sustainable development of fisheries based on such stocks.