Mariculture project key component of Blue Economy sector |01 July 2016
The development of a mariculture industry has been prioritised by government as the central component in the development of the Blue Economy sector.
Before implementing the project, a series of public consultative meetings have started during which the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) is gathering as many views, comments, complaints and concerns from individuals, businesses and stakeholders in the communities on the project.
Last Saturday consultations were held at Anse Royale for people in the south and at the STC conference centre for people in the central region.
Although poorly attended, the organisers went on to explain the importance of the project to the development of the Blue Economy sector.
It is the SFA which is leading the establishment of the mariculture industry.
The development of a mariculture industry has been prioritised by government as the central component in the development of the Blue Economy sector. A mariculture industry will also ensure diversity in economic activities for Seychelles besides tourism and fisheries, two industries which are prone to fluctuations and changing global situations.
In order to ensure a responsible, sustainable, environmentally and socially friendly mariculture industry, work to develop a Mariculture Master Plan (MMP) started in 2011 and is still ongoing.
Two international consultancy firms – Advance Africa Management Services and Golder Associates which specialise in mariculture infrastructure and studies of its environment and social impacts respectively – are working with the SFA to finalise the MMP.
Valsen Consulting, a local firm is also part of the team and manages communications locally.
Representatives of both international firms along with SFA and the department of environment representatives led both meetings on Saturday.
Veronique Uzice from the SFA gave an overview of the MMP, Marie-Alise Rosette from the department of environment explained the different environment procedures to follow while Aidan Stoop from Golder Associates and Fred Formanek from Advance Africa answered questions, queries, comments and gave clarifications to the few people who turned up at the Anse Royale meeting.
“The world is running out of fish and Seychelles is thinking of the future and such an industry will help to diversify the economy, will benefit the tourism industry as it will ensure continuous supply of high quality fish and create jobs for more people,” Mr Formanek pointed out.
The MMP will include a pilot project which will establish key infrastructure such as a land-based hatchery, a brood stock and acclimation facility, a research and development facility and a test cage in the ocean located at Providence.
The consultative meetings are also an opportunity for people to learn more on mariculture, what it entails so they can add their views and comments to be considered and included in the environment and social impact study.
Similar public consultations are to be held this Saturday on Praslin and La Digue.