Seychelles creating a 'fisheries travel guide' report as step to join Fisheries Transparency Initiative
The Department of Blue Economy, together with the FiTI International Secretariat, is organising two workshops to inform local partners about the upcoming assessment. (Gerard Larose, Seychelles Tourism Board)
(Seychelles News Agency) - In order to become a Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI) compliant country, Seychelles has to submit its first report -- a kind of fisheries travel guide for the island nation -- which is expected to come out later during the year.
In line with this, the Department of Blue Economy, together with the FiTI International Secretariat, is organising two workshops to inform local partners about the upcoming assessment.
The first workshop, planned for the end of September, aims at building momentum towards the launch of the first FiTI report and increase understanding of transparency in fisheries.
The report will be launched at the second full-day workshop - planned for the end of the year - where results will be presented and discussed. Recommendations and conduction capacity building on core topics will also be carried out.
FiTI is a global multi-stakeholder partnership where governments, business and civil society collaborate. 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.
|In Seychelles, the implementation of FiTI is led by a National Multi-Stakeholder group. (Gerard Larose, Seychelles Tourism Board) Photo License: CC-BY|
At the heart of the initiative is the FiTI Standard, an internationally recognised guideline on what information on fisheries should be published online by public authorities.
It is made up of 12 transparency requirements which are applicable for all countries covering public registry of national fisheries laws, regulations and official policy documents, the publication of all foreign fishing access agreements, information on the large and small-scale sector, information on the post-harvest sector and fish trade, and subsidies, among others.
In Seychelles, the implementation of FiTI is led by a National Multi-Stakeholder group. 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, Philippe Michaud, who is also Seychelles' senior advisor to the Blue Economy.
“Such a report will show that we can have a discussion around the fisheries sector, involving everyone. It will also give us an idea on if our systems are okay when it comes to accountability and transparency, where we can get information and if the information is accessible,” said Michaud.
The executive director of the initiative, Sven Biermann, said that the FiTI Report is not meant to be a technical checkbox exercise.
“The primary objective is to increase the public availability, accessibility and credibility of important information on the fisheries sector in Seychelles. But transparency can become quickly disappointing when it is just understood as publishing loads of information on a website. Instead, such information needs to become the basis for public debates and well-informed decisions,” said Biermann.
|The primary objective is to increase the public availability, accessibility and credibility of important information on the fisheries sector in Seychelles. (Salifa Magnan, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
“Thus, we want to see a spillover of information, increasing the interest and appreciation of fisheries by the wider public. When you think of a FiTI Report, do not think of a 200- or 300-page technical reports. It is more like a travel guide, showing you where to find certain information, as well as what is missing, providing short summaries on key aspects in the sector and highlighting recommendations on how transparency can be improved in the country,” he continued.
This year, there are two countries – Mauritania and Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, that have already achieved the official status as a candidate country and will submit their report to the FiTI. Seychelles’ candidacy was approved in April this year. The moment that is approved, the timeline starts for the country to publish the first FiTI report.