SPGA honours key partners of the Ste Anne Marine Park |30 March 2023
• Recognises two longest serving staff
The Seychelles Parks and Gardens Authority has acknowledged and honoured five companies and tour operators for their contribution towards the Ste Anne Marine Park, as part of celebrations for the marine park’s golden Jubilee.
The five, namely Teddy’s Glass bottom boat services, the Marine Charter Association, Mason’s Travel, Creole Travel Services and 7 degrees south, received their Recognition Award from Bernadette Willemin, the vice-chairperson of the SPGA’s board of directors, during a short ceremony at the National History Museum in Victoria.
Tannia Hoareau accepted the award on behalf of Teddy’s Glass bottom boat services, which was the first glass bottom boat service provider in the Ste Anne marine park, paving the way for the other operators to follow suit. Other recipients were Patrick Labrosse, the manager of the Marine Charter Association and Michael Mason, the operations manager at Mason’s Travel. General manager Eric Renard accepted the award on behalf of Creole Travel Services, which initially operated under the name Travel Services Seychelles. The representative of 7 degrees south was not present at the ceremony.
When addressing the guests, Mrs Willemin said that since its designation on March 19, 1973, all other agencies entrusted with managing the park, now under the jurisdiction of the SPGA with the help of other partners, have devoted much time and effort in safeguarding the protected marine space.
“On behalf of the SPGA board of directors and all members, let me express our sincerest wish that the Ste Anne marine park continues to positively contribute to the natural environment of our beautiful country and tourism industry,” she said.
For her part, the SPGA deputy chief executive, Lya Docteur, seized the opportunity to express their gratitude towards their partners who are ready to collaborate and partake in different activities and discussions.
“As we strive to build on the services and facilities that we offer, the Ste. Anne marine park remains a key site of sustainable and eco-friendly tourism services, which is reflected through our commitment to soon place mooring buoys in the marine park,” she said.
Ms Docteur added this would reduce the adverse impact caused to the coral reefs as she thanked the Marine Conservation Society for the coral restoration work.
During yesterday’s ceremony, SPGA also thanked two longest-serving staff in the marine operations. Firstly, Bernard Bijoux who has served for 34 years with the marine park authority, beginning in October 1990 as an assistant park ranger. He is now a senior training and events officer.
The second recipient was Paul Lavigne with 24 years of service. Mr Lavigne started as a park ranger in March 1999 and is now a training and events officer within the Marine Operations Unit. He said he will remain with the authority as long as his body is able to move.
Yesterday’s Recognition Award ceremony was the last activity to mark the golden jubilee celebrations of the Ste Anne Marine Park, the oldest marine protected area in the western Indian Ocean.
Those present could also view an exhibition showcasing the natural and cultural heritage which the Marine Park boasts.
Photos by Louis Toussaint