Minister Bastienne visits SMA |16 May 2020
With tourism at a halt, the economy is now depending on the fishing industry to pull it out of the inevitable recession.
Fisheries and Agriculture Minister Charles Bastienne and officials from his ministry have been meeting with many people directly involved in the food chain sector, from farmers associations to fish processors and fishermen to see how best all can work together to ensure food and nutrition security for our nation.
Yesterday, the minister visited the Seychelles Maritime Academy (SMA) where he was given a tour of the training facilities in the fisheries domain available at the post-secondary school.
“The impact of COVID-19 on our country has shown us that the fishing sector plays a big role in our economy and one of our aims is to work on a comprehensive plan for SMA and today I wanted to see for myself what the school is offering in regards to developing the sector,” said Minister Bastienne.
The minister noted that during his visits with fishermen and members of the fishing association they all recognised that the SMA plays a key role in the sector.
Before the minister visited the campus he sat down with the director and management team of the school where they discussed their strengths and weaknesses and how to turn SMA into a school that specialises in fishing.
“Since last year we have been working on a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with SMA and the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development to have collaboration with the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, and through the Seychelles Fishing Authority we will obtain the necessary funding to help the school with its different programmes,” added Minister Bastienne.
He noted that the MoU will be an official document to make sure that all requirements and assistance that the school needs will be funded by us with conditions that they offer courses that will benefit the fishing sector.
The minister also said that some fishing boats in Europe require its seamen to have a certain type of requirements so with the help of SFA the school will start offering these courses to its students and anyone interested in developing their skills.
“All businesses in the fishing and agricultural sector have an obligation now to make sure that we push the sector forward,” said Minister Bastienne.
The director of the school, Captain Krishan Perera, said that they have the proper equipment but don’t have the necessary facilities to conduct the programme and they have discussed it with the minister.
He added that they plan to develop the diploma and the advance diploma programmes. The director noted that they want to conduct short industry trainings so that industry workers can get trained using equipment, boat handling and other training courses which can be used in any aspect of fisheries
Before leaving the academy Minister Bastienne stopped by the Providence fishing port where he went on board the Virgo II which is the training vessel of SMA.
The accompanying photos by our photographer Jude Morel show some highlights of Minister Bastienne’s visit to the SMA yesterday.