Seychelles' port extension aims to support growth of artisanal, semi-industrial fishing sectors
Some typical fishing boats docked in the Seychelles main port of Victoria. An increase artisanal and semi-industrial fishing activities and bigger boats joining the sector has led to the need to extend the Providence Fishing port. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The government of Japan is financing the construction of additional facilities to cater for increased artisanal and semi-industrial fishing activities in Seychelles.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency, JICA, is providing a grant of around $12 million for the expansion of the Providence fishing Port.
The existing port located at the Providence Industrial Estate, about three kilometres south of the Seychelles' capital, Victoria, currently has a 110-metre long quay. It can accommodate up to 60 boats measuring up to 21 metres in length.
The Seychelles Fishing Authority’s Senior Project officer for Fisheries, Juan Marimba, said to SNA that the proposed extension is an additional 200 metres.
“More people are venturing into fisheries with the promotion of the blue economy concept in Seychelles and they are buying bigger boats to be able to go further out at sea for a better catch,” Marimba said to SNA.
“The existing port therefore cannot handle the increasing number of boats as well as the bigger vessels that are joining the artisanal and semi-industrial fishing industry,” he added.
An agreement was signed in the Seychelles capital, Victoria on Tuesday between the island nation’s fisheries minister Wallace Cosgrow, the Japanese Ambassador to Seychelles Tatsushi Terada and Keiko Sano, the head of the delegation from JICA for the 12.3 million grant to fund the extension of the Providence fishing port. (Louis Toussaint, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
While foreign-owned vessels have long dominated the industrial long line fishing sector in Seychelles, it’s the local fishermen who are mainly involved in artisanal and semi-industrial longline fishing.
According to statistics gathered by the Seychelles Fishing Authority nearly 4,000 tonnes of fish were caught by artisanal fishermen in Seychelles in 2014.
Highlighting the importance of the port extension project, the fisheries minister Wallace Cosgrow said on Tuesday that artisanal fishing is important as involves mainly Seychellois fishermen and it also provides the 93,000 people of Seychelles with their daily source of protein.
“Also more and more we find that fish that is being transformed into value added products come from artisanal or semi-industrial fishing,” said Cosgrow.
Aside of creating additional mooring facilities for the boats, the Japanese funded project is also expected to include the construction of other facilities, including a 20-tonne capacity ice plant.
The expansion of the Providence fishing port is expected to start in October 2016 and the work should be completed in 2017.