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Global EXPO pivotal success for AFPES |29 May 2023

Global EXPO pivotal success for AFPES

The press conference (Photo: Louis Toussaint)

The supply of higher quality yellowfin tuna showcased at the Seafood EXPO Global in Barcelona has put Seychelles on the map for investors, courtesy of the Association of Fish Processors and Exporters of Seychelles.

On April, 25, 2023 ‘SEYCHELLES FISH’, the name of the booth, made its debut appearance as one of the exhibitors at the 2023 Seafood EXPO Global in Barcelona. The event ran for three days and was a success. The main reason among many was due to the fact that the high maintenance of the yellowfin tuna from Seychelles gained interest from new investors compared to same species from other countries. The five members of the Association of Fish Processors and Exporters of Seychelles (AFPES) included Oceana Fisheries, Marlu Seychelles, The Morin Group, Tropical Tuna and Ocean Basket.

Speaking at a press conference last week at the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) headquarters, the chairman of AFPES, Louis Bossy, stated that compared to a country such as Sri Lanka, where their tuna loses colour after two days, the Seychelles tuna actually gained colour overtime, which is something good.

“A normal fishing day in Seychelles is 15 days and in Sri Lanka it is around 30 days,” explained Mr Bossy.

In addition, he stated that the EXPO actually “opened our eyes”.

“There were a lot of things that we knew but the EXPO reaffirmed what we already knew,” he stated confidently. “We had the satisfaction of clients seeing for themselves what Seychelles has to offer.”

He said that AFPES discovered that if the price of Seychelles’ fish is high on the market, it is not because of direct competition but rather because it is a different and much better product because of the care we give to it.

Interim chief executive of the SFA, Philippe Michaud, stated that the EXPO granted the fish of Seychelles a lot of visibility and it permitted the product to be better appreciated. It was also an opportunity to see how other countries handle their fisheries and to see the competitive market.

“I can confirm that there is a lot of competition,” he stated. In order to slate the competition, Mr Michaud said there needs to be a continuous effort to keep moving forward.

To conclude, Mr Michaud stated that he was really satisfied with how everything turned out and agreed that the EXPO was indeed a success for Seychelles.

“We hope that next year we continue this participation and our role is to help the industry develop,” he said.

A representative from the Seychelles Bureau of Standards, Christelle Germain, stated that the EXPO gave visibility to new businesses that are exporting fish.

“It was a success because when we saw the different pavilions compared to our fish and the interview I did with the visitors, it was obvious that the fish from Seychelles is on a different level. There is that demand,” she stated, adding that “they got contacts which can definitely be seen as a sealed deal”.

She went on to say that the booth received a lot of compliments from the organisers for being the best set-up and sampling.

“We could show them what we are about, we promoted sustainability and showed people what we have to offer,” added Ms Germain.

One of the partakers, commercial manager of Marlu Seychelles, Ilya Kazakov, said in general the EXPO was a great success as it highlighted the most important qualities of Seychelles’ products and how they are different from the types other countries are using as their species.

“We had very good feedback from all the visitors and all the customers,” said Mr Kazakov. He went on to state that there is still a lot of work to be done for the coming year and if they do attend the next EXPO, it would be a great opportunity to solidify and work on everything.

AFPES’ involvement cost R2 million and 50 percent was from the private sector, while the remaining 50 percent was funded by the government, mainly SFA, the Seychelles Investment Bureau, the Seychelles Bureau of Standards and the ministry responsible for fisheries.

Potential customers engaged by AFPES members are estimated to be around 261, that they eventually reached a point where they had to slow it down to be able to meet the demands.


Sunny Esparon

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