This week, Seychelles' daily newspaper "Today in Seychelles" spoke to Dr. Nirmal Shah, Nature Seychelles' Chief Executive for its Big Interview. Dr. Shah is a well-known Civil Society leader and change-maker who has 35 years experience working nationally and internationally in various fields including sustainable development, biodiversity conservation, coastal zone management, fisheries, ecotourism, climate change, environmental education, and insect, bird and marine research.
(Indian Ocean Commission) The Seychelles Regional Centre for Operational Coordination (RCOC) is now operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from 23 September.
(Seychelles News Agency) - Artisanal fishers from the Indian Ocean countries have gathered in a training session in Seychelles to identify skills needed in co-management, leadership and communication to tackle common challenges.
The three-day training from September 11-13 is being organised by the Federation of Artisanal Fishers of the Indian Ocean (FPAOI) and the Seychelles Fisheries Authority (SFA) at the Coco D'Or Hotel in the northern Mahe district of Beau Vallon.
The chairman of the Federation, Seychellois Keith Andre, told journalists that the fishermen in the region are facing common challenges such as climate change which needs to be dealt with collectively.
“We have found that in our previous training certain countries have surmounted certain challenges that others are still struggling with and we thought that by sharing experiences and knowledge we could find the solution at the doorstep of our neighbours,” said Andre.
He added that by meeting collectively “we have managed to accomplish many great things such as pushing for a resolution to reduce industrial fishing by big operators which is often not sustainable.”
The training, which is also helping with the establishment of a line and track fishery co-management plan, is sponsored by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU as ongoing support since 2017.
The three-day training is being organised by the Federation of Artisanal Fishers of the Indian Ocean (FPAOI) and the Seychelles Fisheries Authority. (Joena Meme) Photo License: CC-BY
Apart from climate change, Andre said that the Blue Economy concept is also a threat to fishermen.
“All of a sudden everybody wants a chunk of the ocean and it is being done at the expense of the fishermen. In the name of protection, everybody wants the fishermen out to protect the reef. This is why we are providing training in co-management and leadership as the right management system can allow our profession to co-exist with other activities,” he said.
Fisheries is the second top contributor to the economy of Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.
The chairperson of the Seychelles’ Roche Caiman Fisherman Association, Florant Tirant, told SNA that the training has taught him that fishing is not only about going out to sea to fish and then sell what you have caught.
“There is more to it than that. I have been taught that with the right management skills I can move from being a small fisherman to one who is now capable of managing my boat, finance as well as leading and mentoring other fishermen through an association,” said Tirant.
The training is also focusing on building the knowledge of fishermen and their negotiating skills and are providing success stories to encourage others to take up this noble profession.
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Cabinet of Ministers has approved the incorporation of the extended continental shelf of the Northern plateau region under the Seychelles’ jurisdiction. The Seychelles’ territorial waters were extended by over 14,840 square kilometres, a territory about 92 times the size of the main of Mahe, by a UN Body in 2018. The Northern Plateau is located at the northern extremity of the Mahe plateau.
Three species of commercially exploited sea cucumbers are being proposed to be only traded internationally under special permit. The proposal, co-sponsored by Seychelles the European Union, Kenya, Senegal, and the U.S., will be considered at the 18th Conference of Parties (CoP18) of CITES in Geneva from Aug. 17 to 28. It intends to add Holothuria fuscogilva, H. nobilis and the endangered H. whitmaei to Appendix II of CITES.
(Seychelles News Agency) - Community leaders and reef practitioners from six western Indian Ocean countries affected by climate change are now better equipped to carry out coral reef restoration following an intensive training session.
Consumers are being urged to boycott yellowfin tuna from the Indian Ocean, including that originating from Seychelles, because of unsustainable fishing by the European Union fleet. A Report by Blue Marine Foundation warns that catches continue to rise despite warnings from the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission's (IOTC) scientists that they would have to be cut by 20% to give the stock a 50-50 chance of recovering by 2024.
As a freshly graduated and passionate marine biologist, being offered an opportunity to volunteer with Nature Seychelles is my first step to building a career in coral reef restoration. As a volunteer, I’m gaining lots of experience in different aspects of reef restoration, from working on the nursery to monitoring the resilience of the reef. My favourite aspect of this role has to be the batfish!
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles Air Force pilots have received initial training to operate drones that will be used to monitor illegal fishing activities in the waters of the island nation.
In a world first, President Danny Faure of Seychelles gave an address from a submersible 124 metres below the surface of the Indian Ocean and asked for stronger protection of the oceans. “This issue is bigger than all of us, and we cannot wait for the next generation to solve it. We are running out of excuses to not take action, and running out of time.”