Sustainable Fisheries Management |09 September 2023
EU scholarships open new horizons for Seychellois talent
Marissa Antha and Abel Sorry are the first two Seychellois recipients to be granted European Union scholarships to further their studies at Master's level in Sustainable Fisheries Management at the University of Alicante, Spain.
In a short ceremony yesterday at the Blue Economy headquarters at Maison Collet, the Minister for Fisheries and the Blue Economy, Jean-François Ferrari, highlighted the importance of these scholarships in strengthening the bond between Seychelles and its European partners.
He revealed that this opportunity emerged from the desire to establish a human connection within the fishing accord, allowing European partners to collaborate closely with Seychellois fishermen.
“We make sure all the conditions are verified for us to continue next year,” he stated.
Principal secretary for fisheries, Roy Clarisse, said the two scholarships are important as they would help to develop the fisheries capacity. “In fisheries, you need to have various experts in different domains and this will also make sure that we have the people of high calibre,” he stated.
The scholarships, sponsored by two prominent Spanish companies, ANABAC and OPAGAC, will enable Marissa Antha and Abel Sorry to pursue a two-year course in Sustainable Fisheries Management.
The minister expressed his enthusiasm for this partnership, noting that every year, two more scholarships will be granted through the European Union, encouraging young Seychellois individuals to explore the field of sustainable fisheries.
Echoing Minister Ferrari’s words, Emmanuel Berack, the head of unit at the European Commission, emphasised the seamless collaboration between the EU and the ministry.
He characterised this partnership as a “smooth cooperation”, highlighting the effectiveness and harmony with which both entities work together towards common goals in the realm of sustainable fisheries and blue economy development.
It was Ms Antha's mother, Alice Antha, who graciously accepted the scholarship on her daughter's behalf.
Addressing the press, she shared insights into her daughter's character, describing her as a dedicated and hardworking individual.
She emphasised that her daughter has consistently gravitated towards active, hands-on roles rather than traditional white-collar professions.
“She loves the jobs where it has to do with the ocean and her interest has always been about the ocean, especially when she finished her time at the maritime school,” she stated.
Ms Antha’s journey in the field of sustainable fisheries began as an observer at the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA), where she dedicated two years of diligent service. Her hands-on experience as an observer laid the foundation for her deep understanding of fisheries management and conservation efforts, making her a deserving recipient of the prestigious scholarship.
Abel Sorry's journey in the blue economy department started in 2019, where he embarked on a career path spanning five years.
In discussing his pursuit of a master's degree, he highlighted the transformative nature of this educational endeavour.
Mr Sorry emphasised that a master's degree offers a unique opportunity to access a wealth of diverse tools and information that can significantly enhance one's professional capabilities.
He expressed the belief that this advanced degree would not only benefit his role but also contribute to advancing various research agendas within the field.
“This will help us push the department,” he stated.
During the ceremony, Minister Ferrari also highlighted the positive implications of the yearly Joint Committee Meeting (JCM) between Seychelles and the European Union, which recently marked its fourth edition.
This year's JCM was described as “satisfactory” and resulted in the release of a substantial sum, approximately eight million euros, dedicated to supporting the fishery sector, particularly artisanal fishing. These funds empower the ministry and SFA to initiate projects that benefit the fishing community and contribute to the development of the sector.
Furthermore, discussions are under way to secure reimbursement from other European countries.