Seychelles Minister for Fisheries disappointed EU hasn't yet paid compensation to seafarers
According to the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA), from 2005 to 2014 there were 116 claims from seafarers who were working on those vessels at that time. (Joe Laurence)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Seychelles' Minister for Fisheries has expressed dissatisfaction at the pace it is taking to pay compensation to Seychellois seafarers that were working on European Union fishing vessels.
"The end of April was set for us to give an update on the progress of the negotiation. We have done a lot of work and we are in constant negotiations with the EU. I can say that a conclusion has not been made yet," the minister, Jean-Francois Ferrari, told a press conference on Thursday.
He said that EU is still requesting figures and technical details of those seafarers and "although we have sent those details several times. I would say that I am disappointed with the negotiators on the other side that is continuously asking us for the same information in a different format."
The minister said that the last communication with EU was on Thursday and it involved information on the member states included in the negotiation.
"This includes the share that the Spanish and French are supposed to pay in the negotiation. We have sent all the required information and the EU has requested for some days to work on it," said Ferrari.
He added that Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, will continue to insist that the compensation be paid.
"There are no doubts from both parties that compensation needs to be paid to those seafarers and we hope that in two weeks' time we get clear feedback. However a final sum has not been decided upon yet," said Ferrari.
According to the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA), from 2005 to 2014 there were 116 claims amounting to SCR11 million ($789,000) worth of compensation from seafarers who were working on those vessels at that time. Out of this, 78 claims are in order to be paid and 38 are still being queried as there is information missing.
The principal secretary of SFA, Roy Clarisse, said that there are 69 claims received for the year 2014 to 2020.
"Among this figure, 66 claims have been paid worth of SCR3.2 million ($230,000), and there are three still pending," said Clarisse.