Best practices in fisheries and aquaculture |22 February 2018
Countries of the region share success stories
On the small sister island of Mauritius, Rodrigues, steps have been undertaken since 2012 to replenish its waters with octopus through the implementation of a seasonal closures of octopus fishery.
The sustainable management of the octopus fishery was necessary in order to address the decade long decline in octopus fishery, and have yielded positive results such as increased catches.
This is one among various fisheries-related types of initiatives that have been developed and adopted by countries in the Southwest Indian Ocean region, and which was shared during a workshop held at Savoy Resort & Spa from February 19-21.
The three-day workshop on lessons learnt and best practices in the implementation of successful fisheries and aquaculture projects in the Southwest Indian Ocean region has been organised by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC).
It has also been funded by the World Bank and implemented on behalf of the South-West Indian Ocean Fisheries Commission (SWIOFC) namely Seychelles, Mauritius, Kenya, South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Madagascar, Comoros and Maldives.
These experts from these countries congregated at the hotel located in Beau Vallon to present their countries’ most successful stories in regards to fisheries and aquaculture with the hopes that other member states could benefit from such.
Aside from Rodrigues’ accomplishment in octopus fishery, the panel discussions centered around various other innovative and successful projects implemented in SWIOFC countries.
The delegates from Madagascar, for instance, detailed their successes in the marking and registration of boats, as well as the promotion of rice-fish aquaculture through education.
Maldives on the other hand gave illuminating apercus of their web-enabled database, known as the Keyohlu Fisheries Information System (FIS), which facilitates data collection processing, recording and tracking of fisheries information.
Meanwhile Kenya related its efforts in sustainable fish post-harvest technologies and value addition for food security, nutrition, poverty alleviation and environment conservation.
As for Seychelles, Vincent Lucas from the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) detailed the ongoing co-management of the sea cucumber resources which is mainly exported to South-East Asian countries.
Present among the technical experts were a number of journalists from the South-West Indian Ocean region who were also receiving media training on how to better report in the digital age and how to adopt solutions journalism in their reporting.
“We want these journalists to be able to disseminate these types of news correctly to the public because the scientific data and terms referred to in the fisheries sector can be difficult for most people to understand,” explained Daroomaligum Mauree, the regional project coordinator of the first South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Governance and Shared Growth (SWIOFISH 1) project.
“Journalism must relay the successes to the consumer so that they understand that not only are management decisions made for their own interest but also in the interest of the future generation,” he concluded.
The workshop will wrap up today and subsequently followed by a conference on ‘Financing Sustainable and Climate-Resilient Ocean Economy in Africa’ (see separate story), co-hosted by the World Bank and the Government of Seychelles.