Seychelles plans to activate fisheries harvest strategy policy by third quarter of 2022
Fisheries management units will be identified to develop a harvest strategy for each type of fisheries undertaken in Seychelles. (Gerard Larose)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles expects to set up a fisheries harvest strategy policy in the third quarter of 2022 that will allow relevant authorities to monitor, examine and manage the stocks of different species, a top government official said on Wednesday.
Key actors in the fisheries sector in Seychelles attended a training session on 'Seychelles' Fisheries Harvest Strategy Policy Guidance and Training' on March 30 being conducted by a British consulting firm – Poseidon.
"We are seeking to put this strategy into action, monitoring our own progress on a regular basis and seeking further information in guidance in areas that are new or innovative. Harvest strategy as a concept is a process of examining, planning to know exactly what to do depending on the state of our resources," said the principal secretary for fisheries, Roy Clarisse.
Seen as a global best practice in the fisheries sector, a harvest strategy is currently not covered in the existing legislative or policy frameworks of Seychelles.
A senior policy analyst at the fisheries department, Stephanie Radegonde, told SNA that such a policy is expected to provide Seychelles with a common standard across all fisheries.
"Our objective is to have a harvest strategy for all our fisheries, both commercial and non-commercial. We would like to see a standard that is similar in all fishery types in the country," said Radegonde.
"When a species has reached a point where the stock is depleting or when we have plans to increase activities in this fishery, then these harvest strategies come into place. From there we will know if we will put a pause or stop to this fishery to ensure that plans are developed to make improvements or conservation of our stock," she continued.
Stock assessments will be done regularly on different species, collecting information as the ministry progresses. Fisheries management units will be identified to develop a harvest strategy for each type of fisheries undertaken in Seychelles. This will include artisanal fisheries targeting demersal and semi-pelagic species, semi-industrial fisheries targeting pelagic species and industrial fisheries targeting species of tuna.
The policy is expected to be finalised by the end of April and presented to the cabinet for approval. The fisheries department is aiming to implement the policy by the third quarter of 2022.
The fisheries sector is the second top contributor to the economy of Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean. The sector comprises the industrial fishery, the small-scale and aquaculture as a subsector.