There is an urgent need to act on the warnings of a widespread decline in the productivity of coral reef fisheries, and broaden the focus of tropical marine conservation, say a group of experienced marine scientists. "Burying our heads in the sand as fisheries move and their negative impact is concentrated elsewhere can no longer be an option for marine conservation.
Seychelles News Agency: A new campaign is to be launched in Seychelles to better inform the public on the world’s first sovereign blue bond, a financial instrument designed to support sustainable marine and fisheries projects.
Danger, Danger! A new study reveals that Seychelles, Bangladesh and Cocos Keeling Islands have high rates of sea level rise. These regions are therefore highly vulnerable to coastal flooding induced by the accelerating sea level rise in future decades, posing significant threats to coastal communities and ecosystems. The findings published in the Journal of Hydrology indicate that vertical land motion is an important factor affecting sea level changes for the regions of Seychelles and Cocos Islands. There is a strong relationship between air temperature and sea level rise for all studied regions. The study, Characterizing the Indian Ocean sea level changes and potential coastal flooding impacts under global warming, is a first attempt to examine regional changes in sea level of the Indian Ocean.
[Seychelles, December 10, 2018] The toolkit derives from a ground-breaking large scale coral reef restoration project the NGO has carried out in the Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean off of East Africa.
Nature Seychelles, a leading NGO in the Western Indian Ocean, has announced the launch of a coral reef restoration toolkit developed in the Seychelles today.
Nature Seychelles uses the coral gardening method to restore coral reefs affected by bleaching. Jake Letori, one of our Reef Rescuers volunteers illustrates the last stage of the method in this video to demonstrate the coral restoration process happening on Felicite Island, Seychelles:
Acroporid and pocilloporid colonies have been growing in a mid-water nursery for the past 12-months. My role was to help move these corals from the nursery and onto the reef. Here’s what you need to do.
[Step 1] Find a suitable space for a coral colony, preferably away from other corals. Make sure the position is a good fit, not easily dislodged by a hungry fish and secure enough to withstand wave and tidal movements.
[Step 2] Once in place you need to scrub. Scrubbing the reef surface will remove any algae and encrusting organisms that could slow coral growth and prevent you from cementing the coral.
[Step 3] Transplant your coral. We use the piping technique, maneuvering around the coral and cementing points of contact between coral and reef substrate.
Video: @j_letori on Instagram
Two months ago, a Malagasy association signed a 10-year, $2.7 billion fishing deal with a group of Chinese companies to send 330 fishing vessels to Madagascar. The Agence Malagasy de Développement économique et de Promotion d’entreprises (AMDP) made the deal, which it says was designed to promote the country’s “blue economy.” It did so without consulting the fisheries ministry, the national environment office, civil society groups, or local fishers, who are already struggling with foreign competition for Madagascar’s dwindling marine stocks. Many of these are now calling for the deal to be scrapped. The critics say the AMDP failed to set up an open bidding process and did not conduct an environmental impact assessment or any public consultation. No draft of the deal has been made public.
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Dr. Nirmal Shah. Environment In Seychelles
A row has erupted between the Marine Stewardship Council and environmental & sustainable fishing groups regarding MSC certification of the Echebastar Indian Ocean tuna purse seine fishery. The purse skipjack fishery obtained Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification https://goo.gl/gQGRqj, weeks after an independent adjudicator paved the way for the process to move forward, https://goo.gl/qfWRPT.
Seychelles News Agency: An association of local fishermen from Praslin, the second-most populated island in Seychelles, has embraced a project that will help maintain the fish stock at one of the island’s bays, said the chairperson of the association. Darell Green said the project aims to conserve part of the Baie St Anne by limiting fishing activities from taking place in that area for a period of time.
“The initiative will help maintain the fish stock in that area such that it will give ample time for the fish stock to grow,” he said.
Spearheaded by Praslin Fisher’s Association, the project is an example whereby fishermen take the initiative to develop sustainable fishing.
The coordinator of the project, Jude Bijoux, said the area chosen will be demarcated and a date will be fixed for when the implementation starts.
Bijoux said that this is “the first time fishermen of the island has agreed voluntarily among themselves to bring a proposition to limit fishing in an area for a period of time to allow the fish stock to replenish.”
Another aspect of the project is to serve as an educational model for the fishermen community on Praslin.
“We don’t need the government to always come and tell us to protect our own resources. As fisherman we need to put our heads together to realise this project and conserve what we have for the future generation,” said Green.
A local fisherman, Wilfred Morel, said that this will benefit all fishermen on the island as it will ensure that there is fish to catch in the area even during the most difficult season – the south-east trade wind. This period which goes from May to October can make the sea rough especially along the coasts exposed to the east and south and this can negatively impact the availability of fresh fish on the market.
Fisheries is the second top contributor to the Seychelles economy.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture has welcomed the project. The principal secretary of the fisheries department, Jude Talma, said that this is a very good initiative on behalf of the local fisherman.
“For many years now, we have been talking about sustainable fishing and it is finally getting through to the fishermen. This sector really depends on them and the action they take. I would like to congratulate them for taking this step,” said Talma.
The chief executive of the Seychelles Fisheries Authority, Ronny Renaud, said that the authority supports this initiative. He added that the fishing community is through the project supporting SFA in managing its own fishing activities.
Renaud said that other communities have expressed their willingness to conduct similar projects and this is an example they can follow.
Prior to the implementation of the project, fishermen on Praslin have agreed to sign an agreement not to fish within the demarcated area. Fishing activity in the area to be demarcated is expected to close on November 1 each year and reopened on April 30 the following year.
The project coordinator, Bijoux, said that the Praslin Fisher’s Association intends to extend this project on other islands and the next one will be along the reef of Anse Reunion on La Digue, the third most populated island.
Over the years, Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, has put a lot of emphasis on sustainable fishing. One of the initiatives is a marine spatial planning exercise to expand protected areas and a fisheries management plan for the Mahe Plateau to progressively move from an open-access fishery to a more controlled fishery.
Today in Seychelles: Seychelles will soon sign Annex VI of the MARPOL Convention, which binds a state prevent air pollution (oil and gas) from its ships at sea. TODAY spoke to the Maritime Safety Administration on the requirements and when it will be enforced.
by C. Ouma