Seychelles celebrates fisheries week |22 November 2023
- A blend of training, careers and conservation
Seychelles joined the rest of the world yesterday to commemorate World Fisheries held under the theme ‘Harmony beneath the Waves, Sustainability in Our Hands’, designated by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
Locally, the event was marked by the official opening of Fisheries Week at the Seychelles Maritime Academy in Providence.
In his address, Designated Minister Jean-Francois Ferrari, who is the minister for fisheries and blue economy, made some key announcements including the beginning of the fish processing training in collaboration with the Seychelles Maritime Academy (SMA). This initiative not only enhances the capabilities of the workforce but also contributes to the value addition of the fisheries products, opening doors to new markets and economic opportunities.
A significant aspect of the fisheries week is the careers fair, where industry leaders, experts, and aspiring individuals come together to exchange knowledge and ideas.
“This platform serves as a bridge, connecting the aspirations of our youth with the vast potential that the fisheries sector holds. It is a space where dreams meet opportunities, and where the future of Seychelles fisheries takes shape,” said Mr Ferrari.
He also announced the opening of a new gear store in Grand Anse Praslin, which he said will not be just a physical space but serves as a symbol of their commitment to sustainable practices and responsible fishing. “It is a testament to our dedication to ensuring that the tools used by our fishermen are not only efficient but also environmentally conscious.” In conclusion, the minister stated that Seychelles Fisheries Week is not merely an event but rather a pledge to safeguard the harmony beneath the waves and recognising that the sustainability of the fisheries is undeniably in the populations’ hands.
For his part, the director of SMA, Captain Anura Herath, said that SMA stands as a beacon of collaboration, bringing together the passionate efforts of all departments that gather to honour the invaluable contributions of the fisheries industry, locally and globally. “The significance of the day resonates deeply within our hearts,” he stated.
Captain Herath added that the Seychelles oceans have long been a source of sustenance, livelihoods, and wonder and hold a wealth of resources that have sustained communities for generations, making it the collective responsibility to ensure the preservation and sustainable use for posterity.
Moreover, he noted that the learners have orchestrated a plethora of engaging activities, not only for the public but also for the budding minds in primary schools. “Their enthusiasm and dedication in organising these events showcase their commitment to learning and their passion for safeguarding the oceans.”
However, he pointed that the day was not just one for celebration, but rather, a reminder of the collective responsibility in regards to conserving the oceans. “It is a call to action for sustainable practices, innovative solutions, and unwavering dedication to safeguarding the bounties the oceans provide.”
During the ceremony, winners of SMA’s artwork competition were also awarded their prizes. The competition was divided into two categories; Primary 1 to 3 students with the theme ‘Colours of the ocean’, and Primary 4 to P6 with the theme ‘Fishing traditions’. The criteria were based on creativity of colours, overall presentation, artistic skills, and use of appropriate materials such as crayons, pastels and paint on A4 or A3 paper. Sir Michael Barbe presented the prizes to category 1 winners.
Thineth Herath was the overall winner for the first category and won R1500 cash prize, a second cash prize worth R1000 sponsored by Mahé Shipping, Aldabra book, Airtel goodie bag, 1 SIF t-shirt, and a carton of 48 tuna cans.
Koralinn Monthy came in second and Enan Valentin was in third place. The two received various prizes including cash prizes, books, art supplies, and carton of tuna cans.
Prizes for the second category were presented by Sheriffa Morel, director general for the department of Fisheries, and in first position was Rowaldo Pierre who received a tablet sponsored by Marlu Seychelles, R1500 cash prize, Discovery Lost World Book, SIF Polo T-shirt and keyring, an Aldabra book, a carton of tuna cans, art supplies, and an Airtel goodie bag.
Alicia Henry was in second place while Valentina Godley came in third. They both received cash prizes, books, carton of tuna cans, T-shirt, goodie bag and art supplies. The artworks will be displayed in the SMA auditorium and feature in the 2024 calendar of the department of Fisheries along with six other selected artworks.
During yesterday’s event, the department of Fisheries also launched its new logo, bringing about a new form of identification and symbol of its vision and mission. The logo competition for the department of Fisheries was launched in September 2023 and the winner, renowned artist Michael Arnephie, had the honour to unveil his work, along with principal secretary Roy Clarisse.
Mr Arnephie’s prizes included a R25,000 cash prize sponsored by Ocean Basket, Hunt Deltel, Amirante Fisheries, Seypec, SFA, Marlu Seychelles and Seaward. He also received an Airtel goodie bag, as well as canned tuna sponsored by IOT.
The ceremony ended with an exhibition tour for the dignitaries present, among whom was the head of state.
The accompanying photos show some highlights of the ceremony.
Photo by Joena Meme