Fisheries set to get big boost


(L to r) Mr Lowlam, Minister Sinon, Messrs Racombo, Tirant and Weber during the press conference yesterday

Oceana Fisheries is now being managed by a new company, which is a joint-venture between Seychellois Danny Lowlam and Russian businessman Alexander Karmanov.

Mr Lowlam, who has 49% share in the company, said the idea of having such a business started eight years ago.

He said the idea is to develop fisheries on an industrial level and to export fish from Seychelles using vessels from Seychelles, floating our national flag.

“Seychelles need to have its own fleet of industrial tuna fishing vessels which will surely be a benefit to the country’s economy,” he added.

Mr Lowlam was speaking during a press conference yesterday at the Seychelles Fishing Authority’s (SFA) conference room.

Also present were Minister for Natural Resources and Industry Peter Sinon, former stakeholders of the Oceana Fisheries Joe Tirant and Radley Weber, and chief executive of the SFA Finley Racombo.

Mr Lowlam said the company will also work closely with the students of the Maritime Training Centre to so that they will be able to learn about the new technologies and equipment being used in this field.

The company will offer services like the sale of ice and a shop selling new equipment used for fishing for fishermen selling their fish with Oceana Fisheries.

Mr Lowlam said the new management will also add new infrastructure and intends to have 10 fishing vessels within a five-year period.

Mr Sinon said Oceana Fisheries will turn into an industrial fisheries plant and though it has a new management, the current activities and conditions remain the same.
An agreement has been signed recently between the new investors, Messrs Sinon and Racombo for the transfer of the shares of Oceana Fisheries.

Mr Sinon said the government’s role in this agreement and transfer is to ensure that the transaction goes well and that stakeholders abide by all terms and conditions set.
The government’s role is also to negotiate the best conditions for fishermen and to see that they are not in any way affected by this transfer of shares.

Mr Sinon added that this new venture will also be beneficial for the maritime students as this will open new doors of opportunities for them.

“The selling and transfer of shares of the Oceana Fisheries comes at an opportune time when the blue economy is being given much attention and when the industry is in need of new investments,” he said.

The company will invest in the production of sashimi grade tuna and in -60° industrial fishing vessels and cold storage.
The owners will also invest in two ice plants with one being given to the SFA.

Mr Racombo said SFA is deciding to putting an ice plant on Praslin as the one there is not operating properly.

He added that the SFA’s role is to act as a regulator to ensure that the company abides by regulations.

These include not allowing fishing vessels of the company to venture into semi-industrial fishing or demersal fisheries.

The former owners of the company have both expressed the need to let the business be run by new owners on account of many reasons, after running Oceana Fisheries for the last 18 years.
They said operating the company has been a challenge but has been a great experience.