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The People 10 April 2015: The government is pushing forward on transforming Seychelles into a Blue Economy. To be honest, the concept is still unclear to many outside the Government. We asked civil society leader and environmental & sustainability expert Dr.Nirmal Jivan Shah for his opinion.

P. Mawanda, TODAY Newspaper, 5 May 2015: The country’s move to establish the Blue Economy may remain a pipedream if issues such as illegal fishing are not addressed. But are the authorities adequately armed to deal with the situation?

Natural infrastructure such as coral reefs, wetlands and beaches, or a combination of natural habitat and built infrastructure –a hybrid approach – such as a “living shorelines” can strengthen the resilience of coastal communities to storms, flooding, erosion and similar climate threats, a new study has revealed.

Everyone knows about it but no one wants to discuss it as one of the most important problems of  sustainable development and the transition to a Blue Economy. I’m talking about the F word – FAT

Fishmeal is one of those things that is so important it is ubiquitous. It is at the basis of livestock and aquaculture operation around the world. However, the Seychelles fishmeal industry is in the doldrums.

Cousin Island Special Reserve is a special place for Seychelles’ biodiversity. Seabirds have a huge role to play in this important Seychelles’ protected area. Seabirds are also a key part of the marine ecosystem as they are considered marine animals in the food chain of the ocean. They can be used as indicators of ocean health and disturbances. Seabird monitoring is therefore vital to keep a handle on what is happening in the ocean.

THE PEOPLE Newspaper | June 03 2015 | Vol. 3 No. 19: The Seychelles Revenue Commission (SRC) and Customs are carrying out investigations into incidents of breach of licences and tax evasion in the yacht operations business, the Minister for Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy Jean-Paul Adam said in the Assembly on Tuesday this week.

Throughout February and March, Nature Seychelles’ Reef Rescuers team have been hard at work surveying the project sites around Cousin Island Special Reserve, a really important part of the coral reef restoration process. The aim of the large-scale assessment was to quantify the effects of the 2016 bleaching event and to assess the current status of the project, 7 years on from its inception.

 Up-close detail of the coral Montastrea curta recently reclassified as Astrea curta.

To assess the reef, the team surveyed several key resilience indicators including; benthic structure, invertebrate and fish populations, coral recruitment and adult coral population and health. Abundant and diverse populations of invertebrates, fish and corals are a key sign of a healthy reef whilst high levels of natural recruitment indicate the potential for successful reef recovery, following a large-scale disturbance of this kind.

The Reef Rescuers team have enjoyed every bit of the intense six weeks of surveying, despite experiencing some tough conditions. Surveying is a great opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the beautiful marine organisms on the reef, including corals and cryptic invertebrates such as Nudibranchs which often display beautiful colours and markings, designed to ward off predators.

 The Nudibranch Thuridilla gracilis, only 2cm long showing off its vibrant striped pattern.

Encountering a school of 35 Bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum) on the designer-reef was a particular highlight, as the species is declared ‘vulnerable’ (IUCN Red List Classification of endangered species) and is not often sighted in such large numbers within the region. Unfortunately, these guys can be a bit of a problem for the reef as they have a large appetite for coral, chomping on branches as they pass by.

All in all, we are looking forward to the conclusions of the assessment as positive signs of natural recovery have already been observed. For now, it’s back to the nursery to continue taking care of the young ‘super-corals’ which are almost ready to be added to the reef.

Chloe Shute

The‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ will require a new culture of “shared responsibility,” described by the UN Secretary-General as based on agreed universal norms, global commitments, shared rules and evidence, collective action, and benchmarking for progress.

The People 2/10/2014:  When addressing the UN General Assembly last week, President Barrack Obama remarked “Seychelles President James Michel said it was up to the countries that burn the most coal, oil and gas to do the most. If they don’t do something, the Earth will not survive and that will be the end of us all, Michel said”

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Blue Economy Knowledge Center

The Center for Environment & Education

P.O.Box 1310, Victoria, Seychelles.

Phone: +(248) 460-1100

Email: blueeconomy@seychelles.net