Journalists follow workshop on how to use FiTI reports as a source of information |18 March 2023
A group of local journalists had the opportunity to learn more on the country’s Fisheries Transparency Initiative report for 2021 through a workshop organised by the Danny Faure Foundation.
The half-day workshop which took place on Thursday at The Guy Morel Institute and ran by the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI) under the theme ‘Using FiTI Reports for Informed Journalism’, was also to empower the journalists to use FiTI reports as a source of information in their reporting and to identify the limitations they face in researching and writing fisheries stories. The report containing information on our country’s fishing sector was published on February 28, 2023.
The workshop was ran by Will May, the regional coordinator for the Western Indian Ocean, and by Dr Jude Bijoux who compiled the Seychelles 2019-2020 FiTI report.
They guided the journalists with tips and information on how to disseminate the 2021 report to retrieve important facts for enquiries, beneficial to the public.
It is the third FiTi annual report produced on the country’s fishing sector which collected a total of R258,296,706 for the year for rights to fish in our waters by foreign vessels.
In her opening remarks, the executive director of the foundation, Lorraine Faure, said the Danny Faure Foundation as an organisation with sustainability built into its core, strives to support FiTI in promoting sustainable fisheries by enhancing public knowledge and informed debates relevant to the management of the fisheries sector among all local stakeholders, including the media.
“Accessible information guarantees transparency and accountability which we believe are necessary for the sustainable development and management of the marine fisheries sector in Seychelles, in the wider Western Indian Ocean region and globally,” said Ms Faure.
The Danny Faure Foundation signed a partnership agreement with FiTI in January this year, as part of a shared vision to promote sustainable marine fisheries in the Indian Ocean through transparency and collective action. It was in 2020 that the country became the second country in the world to be granted the status of a FiTi candidate country, after Mauritania, under former President Danny Faure’s leadership.
Speaking to the press after the workshop, Mr May said they want to encourage our government and other governments around the world to make information about their respective fishing sector more accessible to the public and that the information published should be easily understood.
He noted this was the reason they put together the media workshop because they wanted to bring together a group of local journalists who are really important actors in terms of valorising fisheries information and present it for public consumption.
“Despite the fact that FiTI is well established in Seychelles, with three annual reports that have been produced through transparency assessment, information is not necessarily making its way to the wider public. So as the bringers of information, it’s very important that we have the media onboard to make them aware of what FiTI is all about, the types of data contained in the FiTi report, so that they can do their job as efficiently as possible to make the public aware of the developments in the sector,” Mr May said.
As per its definition, FiTI is a global multi-stakeholder partnership that seeks to increase transparency and participation for a more sustainable management of marine fisheries.
It provides governments, the fishing industry (both large-scale and small-scale), and civil society with an internationally recognised framework (i.e. FiTI Standard) to increase the credibility and quality of national fisheries information with regard to the 12 transparency requirements, such as laws, permits, fishing access agreements, stock assessments, financial contributions, catch data, and subsidies among others.
The workshop was coordinated by Danny Faure Foundation consultant Larrey Chetty.