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Seychelles launches National Aquaculture Policy 2023-2027

Click on the flag for more information about Seychelles SEYCHELLES
Friday, May 24, 2024, 06:50 (GMT + 9)

Seychelles has launched its second National Aquaculture Policy for 2023-2027 to guide and support an effective aquaculture industry that contributes to food security and wealth creation.

The new policy was launched on Tuesday at the Seychelles Maritime Academy (SMA), in the presence of the European Union (EU) Ambassador to Seychelles, Oskar Benedict, and the French Ambassador to Seychelles, Olivia Berkeley-Christmann.

In his address at the launching, Minister for Fisheries and the Blue Economy, Jean-Francois Ferrari, said that this event marks a pivotal moment in the advancement of sustainable aquaculture in Seychelles.

"As we gather here today, we are reminded of the critical role our oceans play in our lives. In Seychelles, the ocean is not just a natural resource; it is the lifeblood of our economy, culture, and sustenance," said Ferrari.

He added: "By optimizing the use of our expansive ocean territory, we aim to enhance food security, generate income, create jobs, and provide environmental benefits such as climate change adaptation and mitigation."

The aquaculture sector was opened for investment in October 2021 and since then, the Seychelles Fishing Authority has worked with the private sector to support investment and assist new aquaculture farmers in becoming operational.

There has been diverse interest in investment in the sector, including species such as seaweeds, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, and fin fish.

To date, the Aquaculture Department has issued 11 licenses and is currently reviewing several applications as well.

Ferrari said, "The aquaculture sector holds immense potential for our nation. By providing a sustainable solution to meet the growing global demand for seafood, we can also alleviate pressure on our natural fish stocks, support conservation efforts, and promote economic diversification."

In developing the policy, Seychelles had help from the EU to draft a comprehensive framework that aligns with global best practices and the country's national objectives.

"We are pleased to mention that the Economic Partnership Agreement (EDA) program has for instance provided technical support to identify via research and develop the proof of concept for at least five aquaculture species, including the Sea urchins and Marine fin fish," said Benedict.

He added that special support has been provided to local private operators in developing business plans, while technical mentorship support has been provided to existing aquaculture permit holders to assist them in the establishment of farming operations.

"With the new Aquaculture Policy that is being launched today, key challenges will be addressed notably those related to licensing and permitting systems and to the use of non-indigenous culture species in aquaculture. A series of technicalities will also be clarified including, for instance, freshwater and small-scale aquaculture operations," said Benedict.

Seychelles launched its aquaculture industry more than a decade ago in a bid to diversify its economy sustainably within the concept of the Blue Economy.

Author/Source: Sedrick Nicette/Seychelles News Agency

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