South African delegation in Seychelles to study, assist fisheries sector
The South African delegation will be conducting a study which will put the delegation in a better position to know where they can assist Seychelles. (Gerard Larose, Seychelles Tourism Board)
(Seychelles News Agency) - A South African delegation is in Seychelles on a three-day visit to study the fisheries sector of the island nation in order to provide the best-targeted assistance.
The three-person delegation from the South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, will be visiting facilities of the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) and the Seychelles Bureau of Standards from February 19 to 21.
"Conducting such a study will put the delegation in a better position to know where they can assist Seychelles within the five key areas - research, management, monitoring, control and surveillance, aquaculture and promotion of fish trade and post-harvest,” said Jude Talma, Seychelles’ principal secretary for fisheries.
He added that for South Africa to cooperate with and assist Seychelles, “they need to understand the situation on the ground.”
The principal secretary expects that with this partnership, capacity building in the mentioned areas will be improved.
“We hope to have a cooperation established with Rhodes University so that our research officers at SFA can benefit from studies or research works there. Of course, this will also improve the fisheries management itself,” said Talma
In regards to monitoring, control, and surveillance, he said that South Africa is well advanced in these areas and Seychelles will benefit extensively. Fishing is the second main contributor to the economy of Seychelles, which has a total land area of 455 square kilometres spread over an Exclusive Economic Zone of 1.37 million square kilometres.
|For South Africa to cooperate with and assist Seychelles, “they need to understand the situation on the ground,” said Talma. (Gerard Larose) Photo License: CC-BY|
“They have the assets and training programs as well as observers and inspectors, something lacking in Seychelles,” said Talma.
Talking about aquaculture, he said that this is a fairly new field in Seychelles and as South Africa is “advanced in that field, Seychelles can benefit from the memorandum to have their expertise in the field.”
“Promoting fisheries and post-harvest, will benefit the economy if we can export more fish product to South Africa,” said the principal secretary.
He added that Seychelles can also import quality marine products that are not available in the country from South Africa.
After the study is carried out, the delegation and local officials will discuss a memorandum of understanding that is being developed to cover the areas of cooperation.
During last year’s Senior Officers Meeting between the island nation and South Africa, Seychelles recommended a memorandum of understanding is developed between the fisheries ministry of the two countries.
The Senior Officers Meeting sees the presence of representatives from all sectors of the government of both countries, held as part of bilateral meetings.
The memorandum of understanding will then be debated upon by the South African government.
“On March 8 and March 9, there will be the second Senior Officers Meeting in South Africa and we will be reporting on the development of the fisheries sector between South Africa and Seychelles. In that meeting, we might have an idea when the memorandum will be signed,” said Talma.