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
Watching, nurturing and documenting the growth and development of corals in a nursery, from a 5 cm fragment to a colony as big as a football, is truly rewarding for the Nature Seychelles' Reef Rescuers team. The nursery and all the work that goes into its care is an essential part of the reef restoration process, helping prepare coral fragments for the reef.
It’s becoming more and more evident that the trajectory of Seychelles’ Blue Economy is heavily dependant on geopolitics in our region. Who the big regional players are and whether they are advocates of sustainability and equity (2 key pillars of the Blue Economy) will be determining factors in the take-off or crash and burn of the Blue Economy.
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles has become a leader in the worldwide effort to restore corals grown in underwater nurseries that could help the fragile species adapt to rising water temperatures and climate change. The pioneer in this regard has been Nature Seychelles with their Reef Rescuers project that started eight years ago.
One of the tasks that Nature Seychelles' Reef Rescuers have to carry out regularly is cleaning the underwater nursery ropes of Algae and other biofouling organisms. This is a formidable task that takes a lot of time because it involves cleaning of thousands of corals hanging underwater in rope nurseries.
Seychelles News Agency: Seychelles and New Zealand, both members of the Commonwealth, will cooperate in the fields of economic relations, the blue economy, and climate change, the newly accredited High Commissioner said on Tuesday.