EU to continue helping Seychelles achieve its development priorities |30 November 2021
The European Union has reaffirmed its willingness to continue supporting Seychelles in achieving its development priorities.
This came out at the end of the second Joint Committee Meeting under the Implementing Protocol 2020-2026 of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement (SFPA) between the European Union and the Republic of Seychelles that took place on November 24 and 25, 2021 in Victoria, Seychelles.
The delegation of the European Union (EU) was led by Emmanuel Berck, deputy Head of Unit for Trade Negotiations and Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements of the Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission while the Seychelles delegation was led by Roy Clarisse, principal secretary for Fisheries of the Ministry of Fisheries and the Blue Economy.
During the meeting, the Parties reviewed the state of implementation of the Protocol in relation to both EU fishing activities in Seychelles waters and projects under the sectoral support programme, as well as cooperation in the framework of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC).
The parties expressed their high appreciation about the fruitful discussion that took place during the meeting.
Mr Clarisse, declared that “Our partnership with the EU continues to benefit our local communities in many ways, including through the EU financial contribution of the sectoral support”.
Ninety-two percent of the financial envelope of the first year has been spent in
various actions, especially related to artisanal fisheries as well as Monitoring Control and Surveillance of the Seychelles waters.
This is the first time that such as high expenditure ratio is reached in one annual programme, reflecting the number of initiatives that have been implemented over the last and current instalment.
Mr Berck stated that the “Artisanal fisheries is a key sector of the Seychelles’
economy and it is an important contributor to employment and food security. I am glad to learn that the funds under the sectoral programme to the SFPA have been efficiently used for the benefits of the local fishermen communities and the Seychellois fish processors”.
The EU has reaffirmed its willingness to continue supporting Seychelles in achieving its development priorities.
The Parties reviewed all the projects realised under the first annual work-programme of the Protocol and agreed on priorities, objectives and activities for the second annual work programme of the current Protocol.
Between February 2020 and October 2021, nearly 2.9 million Euros have been utilised coming from the roll over balance from the previous Fisheries
Protocol (1 million Euros) and 2.8 million Euros under the first Instalment transferred by the EU of the current Protocol.
Following a work plan of actions, the main activities realised were consistent of the implementation of the fisheries and aquaculture management plans and monitoring, control and surveillance of the Seychelles waters. In addition, a number of infrastructure for local communities have been built such as fisheries facilities at La Retraite, phase one of Glacis, landing site and fish market at Perseverance and the aquaculture broodstock facility in Providence; other fisheries infrastructure projects are ongoing such as Cascade, Anse Aux Pins, Baie Ste Anne Praslin and Grand Anse Praslin.
The financial support provided to the Seychelles Bureau of Standards and to the Maritime Academy have also allowed for the training of skilled professionals and a number of other capacity building activities.
To support Seychelles authorities put in place mitigating measures against the impact of Covid-19 pandemic, emergency funds from the sectoral support of approximately R17 million were made available for implementation of the Food Security – Fisheries Emergency Plan during the pandemic in 2020 to assist the fishermen and fish processors.
The future actions under the work plan for 2021-2022 were also discussed with the aim of reinforcing fisheries as the second pillar of the national economy and achieving the policy objective of transiting from a mainly transhipment towards a fish processing hub.
The sectoral support funds will contribute to build infrastructure and services in support of a new processing zone at Ile du Port and strengthen the private sector engagement along with new policy frameworks setting sustainable fisheries practices for all the segments (industrial, semi-industrial and artisanal) with the aim of increasing export opportunities.
The two Parties concluded on a positive note, expressing their support for the emergence of the Seychellois entrepreneurship in the seafood sector, particularly in the tuna value chain.
The Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement applies since February 2020. Based on a reference tonnage of 50,000 tonnes, the EU provides Seychelles with an annual financial contribution of €5,300,000. A significant part of this contribution, €2,800,000 per year, is specifically earmarked to promote the sustainable management of fisheries in Seychelles, as well as to support the development of small-scale fisheries. For the whole duration of the
protocol, the total estimated value, including the EU ship-owners contribution, amounts to €58,200,000, equivalent to €9,700,000 per year.
The current Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement represents a significant step ahead of the spirit and core principles of the partnership between the EU and Seychelles. This Agreement is based on the principles of the Common Fisheries Policy such as transparency, governance of fishing activities, non-discrimination, respect of the scientific advice and scientific cooperation on data collection and analysis. It also complies with Seychelles’ legislation and the management measures taken in the context of the Indian
Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), of which both Parties are members.
Joint EU-Seychelles press release