Scientists, experts in fisheries from SIDS to set up platform to discuss matters related to fisheries |10 August 2022
Fisheries scientists, experts in aquaculture and other fisheries matters from several small island developing states including Seychelles are meeting here to discuss the setting up of a platform to address all fisheries related matters concerning them in a united front at international level.
The three-day working meeting that started on Monday and is taking place at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay hotel, has been organised and funded by the African Union-Inter African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR).
Many small island developing states (SIDS) including Seychelles are dependent on their fisheries resources for economic development and for many of them, especially those on the African continent, the promotion of fisheries and aquaculture development for food security is crucial.
In his remarks when launching the meeting, the Minister for Fisheries and the Blue Economy, Jean François Ferrari, noted that with their high dependency on the ocean, the blue economy and on fisheries, it is important for these small states to know what is happening in and around the African continent.
He said fisheries and aquaculture can contribute to address some of the sustainability challenges faced by these countries as part of the blue economy development initiative by improving good governance and management of aquatic ecosystems, conserving biodiversity and habitats and empowering communities.
Meanwhile Minister Ferrari has announced that Seychelles plans to bid for a leading role for SIDS on the African continent.
“This workshop will give us the opportunity to focus on priority fisheries and marine culture development and management, issues that relate most profoundly to us small island states,” said Minister Ferrari.
Dr Mohamed Seisey from the AU-IBAR stated that the objective is to establish a framework for a platform for SIDS in Africa coastal waters including Madagascar.
“We hope to achieve the framework by establishing the mechanism for the platform and defining the objective of the platform as well as its terms of reference,” he highlighted.
He further added that the African Union has the responsibility to foster development on the continent, setting the framework for Agenda 2063 which is Africa's blueprint and master plan for transforming the continent. The first aspiration is integrated development and one is to support the blue economy development.
He stressed that for the African Union it is important to support the member states.
The principal secretary for fisheries, Roy Clarisse noted that with the five SIDS – Cape Verde, Comoros, Mauritius, São Tomé and Príncipe and Seychelles (including Madagascar) – taking part in the meeting, “we must ensure our participation and common objectives on how fishing ‘en haute mer’ is managed. As a leader in the blue economy in the Indian Ocean we must also contribute to the discussion or negotiate on the agreements, either in the bilateral or regional context to bring a relief to other SIDs that has not yet established themselves”.
He stated that Seychelles can discuss and share its experiences and also learn from other island states and get to know what they are doing.
Altogether some 30 delegates are taking part in the meeting with seven representatives from Seychelles, one from São Tomé and Príncipe, from Madagascar and two from the Comoros.