BlueInvest Africa visits the SFA Aquaculture Broodstock Acclimation and Quarantine Facility |13 September 2022
The management and staff of the Aquaculture department of the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) welcomed a group of delegates from the BlueInvest Africa Forum on their visit to the Broodstock, Acclimation and Quarantine Facility (BAQF) in Providence last Wednesday.
The delegation included the directorate-general for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (MARE) of the European Commission, Charlina Vitcheva; the EU ambassador to the Republic of Seychelles, Vincent Degert; and group of investors participating in the forum.
The visit re-emphasised the growing importance and international recognition of aquaculture in Seychelles through which attendees could get a glimpse of what the private sector could be looking at as a new area of investment, into some of the high-value species that are available in Seychelles.
Ms Vitcheva recognised that SFA has a pioneering job to demonstrate that aquaculture using the facility is possible.
She said that “from everything that I’ve seen, it’s looking quite positive. I appreciate that SFA is partnering with the Maritime Academy for internship programmes with students that perhaps can later join the establishment as we need a skilled labour force. We’re extremely happy to see that the support we are giving is meaningful and stirs business opportunities in a country where we find very strategic partners”.
The head of the Aquaculture department of the SFA, Aubrey Lesperance, said: “I can see the growing interest in the participants who visited the facility today and the feedback received by the team has been really motivating towards the work done to date on kick-starting the sector. We have managed to generate interest both locally and internationally which speaks volume as we have seen the number of applicants for aquaculture license constantly increasing. Most importantly, the level and quality of projects are very encouraging for the future of the sector in Seychelles.”
The European Union made the SFA BAQF visit part of their agenda since 2021, when they were organising the forum in Seychelles which was originally scheduled to take place in April 2022 but was delayed due to travel restrictions. An EU delegation had made a prior visit of the facility in 2021 under the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement (SFPA) and hence wanted to showcase what a good example of sustainable investment into the Blue Economy looks like.
The SFA expects that more investors, both local and foreign, will be considering aquaculture as a new potential area of investment from the visit as there are currently 12 active aquaculture license applicants.
About the SFA BAQF:
The facility was officially opened in September 2019 by former President Danny Faure and the European Union ambassador to the Seychelles, Vincent Degert. Currently run by a team of eight SFA staff on a 24-hour basis daily, it functions as a multi-species quarantine and acclimation facility that provides quarantine treatments for wild caught Broodstock and prepares them for life and reproduction in captivity. It comprises a quarantine area which includes six quarantine tanks (7.6 cubic metres each) operating on a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS), and an acclimation area that comprises two 40.5 cubic metre tanks (for large fishes including grouper) and four 20 cubic metre tanks (for smaller fishes including snapper, pompano). Water supply to the acclimation tanks is on a flow-through basis i.e. it is pumped in the facility after undergoing a series of filtration processes before returning to the sea. Construction of the facility was funded through the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement (SFPA).
The Seychelles Fishing Authority was incorporated in August 1984 by the Seychelles Fishing Authority (Establishment) act. The Authority develops the fishing industry to its fullest potential and safeguards this resource base for sustainable development.
Press release from SFA