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EU funds Glacis gear store project |21 February 2024

EU funds Glacis gear store project

Designated Minister Ferrari and MNA Esparon laying the foundation stone for the construction of the gear store (Photo: Patrick Joubert)

 Foundation stone laid yesterday


After a long wait, the Glacis fishers’ community will soon get a spacious and modern storage facility now that the foundation stone for its construction has been laid.

It was Designated Minister and Minister for Fisheries and Blue Economy, Jean-François Ferrari and the elected member of the National Assembly for Glacis, Regina Esparon, who had the honour of laying the foundation stone for the ‘Glacis Gear Store’ project.

Present were the French Ambassador to Seychelles and representative of the European Union (EU), Olivia Berkeley-Christmann, chief executive of the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA), Dr Jan Robinson, district administrator Christelle William, chairman of the Glacis Fishers Association Darny Barbé, other representatives of the district and the association, and staff of SFA.

The project will comprise 13 gear stores, a shower, boundary wall and fish bin area including an access road and pedestrian crossing on the main road to access the facility.

The storage facility will be constructed in the same area that is presently harbouring the old makeshift gear store made of corrugated iron sheets, located across the road, opposite the Glacis fish market.

The gear store is being funded by EU at a cost of R2.7 million under the 2020-2026 Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement, Sectoral Support Programme. Work on the storage facility by Thunder Construction, started yesterday and will be completed within a year.

The construction of the new storage facility will be done in phases so as not to interrupt the fishermen’s daily activities.

For decades the Glacis boat owners and fishermen have been using the makeshift gear store to keep their fishing gears and equipment.

Land availability was the biggest constraint which impeded the plan to construct new and contemporary storage facilities for the fishing community. In 2020, the government initiated negotiation with the land owner – the Mancham family – to acquire part of the land, covering 750 square meters, for the development of fisheries-related facilities for the district. The negotiation was finalised and the land was acquired in the name of SFA in 2022.

In her opening remarks, Ambassador Berkeley-Christmann said that laying of the foundation stone to mark the commencement of the gear store was a new milestone towards providing adequate facilities needed by the fishermen to carry out their activities.

“This ceremony marks the strengthening of the bilateral relations between the EU and Seychelles. The installation of this modern storage facility will improve the working condition of the fishermen thus in return will provide a better service to the community,” said Ambassador Berkeley-Christmann.

For his part, Designated Minister Ferrari, said that although the facility was a long time coming, he was happy for the patience shown by the fishermen. He added that the project is part of the country’s commitment to improve the lives of the fishermen in general.

“This facility will allow the fishing community in Glacis to better practice their career and I hope that everyone using this facility will make good use of it and take care of it for the benefit of the younger generation to come,“ said Designated Minister Ferrari who thanked EU for its support to the country’s fishing sector.

In an interview with the media, chief executive of SFA, Dr Robinson, said SFA has been in consultation with the fishermen and the association regarding this project and both sides were happy with the outcome.

He noted that the challenge now will be to ensure that communication is maintained between the fishermen and the construction company while work is underway.

“I think that having regular communication, and with SFA assisting in that,  we can ensure that the project will go smoothly,”  said Dr Robinson.

 Given that the fishermen are to pay rent for their designated store, Dr Robinson stated that SFA will bear the cost of utilities and maintenance of the whole storage facility.     

The vice chairman of the Glacis Fishermen Association, Cliff Morel, said the secure and modern facility will help to mitigate theft and vandalism. He called on his colleagues to make good use of the facility and to maintain it well.

 “The fishing community is happy that our dream of having a proper storage facility has finally materialized,” said Mr Morel.

The gear storage facility which complements the fish market, will serve the 47 boat owners and 70 fishermen in the community. There are seven boat owners who are not fishermen, 40 who are boat owners and fishermen, as well as 30 fishermen in Glacis.


Patrick Joubert


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