European Union allows Seychelles flagged ships to fish in Mayotte waters
Purse seiners in the Seychelles Port of Victoria, April 2014 (Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Mayotte will allow Seychelles flagged purse seiners to continue fishing in its waters in the Indian Ocean, in spite of its new status of the French overseas department as a European region within the European Union since January 01, 2014.
Following a meeting between delegations from the European Union and Seychelles held in island’s capital of Victoria, in November 2013, Seychelles ambassador in Brussels Vivianne Fock-Tave, last week signed a fisheries agreement with the EU.
In a press statement issued today, the Seychelles Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the agreement will allow eight tuna purse seine vessels to operate in the waters of Mayotte under the jurisdiction of the EU for the next six years against the payment of licence and catch fees coming directly from the ship-owners.
“This highlights Seychelles importance as a responsible tuna fishing nation and confirms the strategic partnership and high regard in which the European Union views Seychelles,” reads the statement.
This is also the first tuna agreement whereby the European Union allows for vessels of a non-EU member country to fish in its waters on the payment of fees.
Port Victoria, the main port of the capital of the Seychelles islands, is one of the busiest tuna fishing ports in the world, where an average of 200,000 metric tonnes of fish are landed and transhipped every year.
According to statistics from the Seychelles Fishing Authority, fisheries accounts for a yearly income of $370 million into the Seychelles economy.