Seychelles is collaborating with the United States to tap into the American investor market. (Aquaculture Seychelles/Facebook)
The Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) has updated its existing aquaculture policies in a bid to attract more investors in the sector especially in fin fish farming, said a top official.
The amendments to the Seychelles National Aquaculture Policy were approved by the Cabinet of Ministers on Wednesday.
They are based on seven key principles – good governance, environmental sustainability, coordinated support for the development of the sector, investment guidelines, marketing, development of human capital, and continuous research and development.
The head of the aquaculture department at SFA, Aubrey Lesperance, told reporters that one amendment is that the authorities are “encouraging big investments in fin fish – species that are found a bit further out at sea for example at around 50km from land and in depths of 100m and deeper.”
In his address at the opening of an aquaculture workshop on Wednesday, the Seychelles’ fisheries minister, Jean-Francois Ferrari, said that with these changes, “it is much more sustainable for holding larger farms and will give us better economic benefits as well as the yield of fish that we may be able to export.”
In 2018, the first Seychelles National Aquaculture Policy 2018-2022 was approved by the Cabinet, and in 2020, the first Aquaculture Regulations were gazetted.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, is in the sixth year of using its current policy.
The proposed amendments took into consideration points raised by local partners who attended the workshop last year. They pointed out that they would like to have a specific policy that targets capacity building.
“So we are encouraging everyone not just government to include capacity building and train some youths as well as creating jobs for them in the sector to help diversify the economy,” said Lesperance.
Seychelles has an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 1.4 million square kilometres and fisheries is the second top contributor to its economy.
“I know that on the fishing side, our fishermen are getting older and we are struggling to get them to join the sector, we are now giving the younger generation a new one in aquaculture and there are many scientific aspects to the sector that may interest them,” added Lesperance.
Meanwhile, the authorities are continuing to introduce training programmes to attract the younger generation into the sector.
“We have a very good partnership with Seychelles Maritime Academy that we want to reinforce and provide them with skills they will need to work on aquaculture farms,” explained Lesperance.