Seychelles' future seafarers ready to launch their boats
The Seychelles Maritime Training Centre is now equipped with a new floating bridge and boat ramp, (Jude Morel, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean have 1.3 million square kilometre exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of ocean space, making it the venue of a dream career in fisheries and seafaring for the students of archipelago’s Maritime Training Centre (MTC).
Japan has today equipped the school with a new pontoon (floating bridge) and slipway (boat ramp), which are part of a project financed by the government of Japan through the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) multi-donor fund, which also includes a NAVTEX broadcast station to the Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration ( SMSA) and the procurement of radio and satellite voice communication to the SFA- altogether worth $1 million.
Japanese Ambassador Tatsushi Terada and MTC Board Chairman Conrad Benoiton,at the handing over ceremony of the slipway and pontoon to MTC (Jude Morel, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: Attribution
The official handing over took place this morning by the Japanese Ambassador to Seychelles Tatsushi Terada, who was accredited Tuesday May 13.
"I realize how important are the fishery and maritime security in Seychelles," said Terada.
He added that Japan also a maritime country knows the importance of fisheries for small island states.
Also part of the launching ceremony was a demonstration of the launching of a dinghy by students of the Navigation Department, from the training vessel "Virgo II". This new vessel was built in Sri Lanka and funded by the European Union (EU).
The new pontoon can accommodate two MTC training boats of 16 metres long.
MTC is the institution that provides the necessary academic and technical knowledge and experience to young Seychellois who are interested to join various fields of the country’s maritime sector.
The Chairman of the post-secondary institution’s board of directors, Conrad Benoiton, says today’s event marks the continuous progress in the ongoing efforts of the Seychelles government to improve all aspects of our maritime and fisheries sector.
Referring to the MTC as the foundation of the sector, he said, "This is where our future generation of seafarers will continue to emerge not as simple fishermen, but capable and professional seafaring men and women to play a significant role in the continually changing landscape of the maritime sector, encompassing fisheries, tourism and the tanker fleet."
The Seychelles Maritime Training Centre hosts about 200 students, taking four different two-year courses.
These are basic fisheries, which is an apprenticeship course; Advanced fisheries, which is technological; Navigation and Seamanship and Advanced Marine Mechanic.
The MTC's principal has said that a Yacht Masters Course is also set to begin soon.
During their second year at the MTC, students also study maritime English, French and Spanish.
Since last year, the institution has embarked on a new stage in its existence, with the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement to place this institution under the umbrella of the Colombo International Nautical and Engineering College (CINEC) and the Seychelles Ministry of Education.
The objective is to put in place the Quality Management System (QMS) allowing the MTC to progress in its development towards becoming a "Centre of excellence."
Students of the Navigation Department, on board training vessel "Virgo II" (Jude Morel, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: Attribution
Apart from working locally trained maritime students are also venturing further.
Most of the 130 Seychellois presently working on the Seychelles tankers have passed through the MTC.
Just last month a cohort of 19 MTC graduates were recruited by the Seychelles Petroleum Company Seypec.
Five of Seychelles fleet of 6 tankers Seychelles Pride, Pioneer, Progress, Prelude and Patriot operate worldwide.
The sixth tanker, dubbed the green tanker, Seychelles Paradise is based in Seychelles and undertakes offshore bunkering operation as well as the transportation of fuel and LPG gas to the second most populated island of Praslin.