Seychelles to join Fisheries Transparency Initiative, boosting sustainability
While there are many ways of achieving sustainable fisheries, the public availability of information is essential. (Gerard Larose, Seychelles Tourism Board)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles submitted an application to become a member of the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI) on Tuesday, a move that will increase transparency in the fisheries sector.
According to the Department of the Blue Economy, the Seychelles' Vice-President, Vincent Meriton, submitted the application on behalf of the country's National Multi-Stakeholder Group, following 18 months of discussions with local partners.
"While it is clear that the bulk of work still lies ahead of us, reaching this milestone is an important achievement for the Seychelles. We will continue demonstrating our leadership in good ocean governance by publishing our first FiTI Report already by October this year," said Meriton.
FiTI is a global multi-stakeholder partnership where governments, business and civil society collaborate jointly. It seeks to increase transparency and participation for the benefit of more sustainable management of marine fisheries and the well-being of citizens and businesses that depend on the marine environment.
Meriton explained that with this report, everyone can see where Seychelles stands in regards to transparency in the fisheries sector
"This also contributes to our commitments towards the Open Government Partnership, to which we submitted our first National Action plan at the beginning of this year," he said.
The National Multi-Stakeholder group leads the implementation of FiTI in Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean. The group consists of 12 voting members – four representatives each from government, business and civil society. The group is chaired by the Seychelles FiTI National Lead, Phillippe Michaud, who is also Seychelles' senior advisor to the Blue Economy.
Michaud said, "Seychelles has been a leader in the FiTI from its beginning, and submitting this application is now another important step in our journey of ensuring a transparent fisheries sector."
The International Board of FiTI, which is the governing body, will now evaluate Seychelles application within the next two months.
Michaud added that the overexploitation of fisheries resources is both a global and a national challenge. While there are many ways of achieving sustainable fisheries, the public availability of information is essential.
"It must be normal that our citizens have easy access and understand the status quo of our fisheries sectors, including what fisheries agreements comprise of, what are the vessels licenced, the catch, the fees paid and what the revenues are used for," he said.
Michaud added that "the Fisheries Transparency Initiative, being the only global agreement that defines what information on fisheries should be published online by governments, is an ideal tool for the Seychelles to increase not only transparency in this sector, and institutionalise stakeholder dialogues, but also emphasises our comprehensive endeavours for open government."
Seychelles is hosting the FiTI International Secretariat as a result of a pledge made by at the 'Our Oceans' Conference in Bali in 2018. The FiTI International Secretariat was launched officially at State House last year and recently completed its transition from Germany.