The Designated Minister and Minister responsible for Fisheries and Blue Economy, Mr. Jean-Francois
Ferrari, is heading a Seychelles delegation on a peer-to-peer exchange visit to examine fisheries
management in both Shetland Islands, United Kingdom and Sete, France this month. The exchange is
aimed at capacity building for stakeholders involved in the co-management committee for the Mahe
Plateau Trap and Line Fishery Co-management Plan.
The exchange provides an opportunity to learn from the experiences of peers who have been
impacted, either positively or negatively, by change or performance in how fisheries are managed,
and to appreciate the challenges and opportunities of co-management from contexts where such
governance systems have operated for longer periods than Seychelles. The Minister is being
accompanied by representatives from the Seychelles Fisheries Authority, Green Island Foundation,
SWIOFish3, Department of Fisheries, La Digue Fishers Association, Bel Ombre Fishers Association,
Fishtec, PFBOA, amongst others.
Minister Ferrari has had the opportunity to meet with the Depute Convenor of the Shetland Islands
Council, Mr. Bryan Peterson. Mr. Peterson has welcomed the Minister and his delegation to the islands
and noted that “there is much that links Shetland with the Seychelles. We are both island societies
where the sea provides both opportunities and challenges”. He further stated that “Shetland extends
a warm hand of friendship from the north Atlantic to our fellow islanders in the Indian Ocean” and
hopes that the visit may strengthen the Seychelles fisheries sector even more.
In response, Minister Ferrari asserted that the Seychelles “values its new friendship with the fellow
islanders in the North Atlantic” and that similarly to Shetland, Seychelles economy is heavily reliant
on fisheries and the food security of its people is largely dependent on seafood. The Minister also
emphasised on the need to improve governance and build capacity for co-management of fisheries.
To conclude, he expressed that he is convinced that these peer-to-peer exchanges can be an effective
way to learn how stakeholders in other islands have addressed challenges common to fisheries and
the development of our blue economies.
For the duration of the visit in Shetland, the Minister and the delegation will have the opportunity to
experience best practices and learn more about the Shetland seafood industry and the fisheries
management, training and research initiatives being undertaken on the islands. Furthermore, they will
have the chance to visit the fish electronic auction centre, a technical college for fishers, a tour of the
main harbour on board pilot boats and attend discussions on the different roles of the Shetland Fishers
Association, Shetland Fish Producers Organisation and Shetland Shellfish Management Organisation.
Next week, the delegation will make their way to Sete, France and will be able to sit for a presentation
on the French Mediterranean fisheries and of the Bluefin Tuna Management Plan by OP SATHOAN.
Moreover, they will be meeting with ‘Cepralmar’ which is a technical centre dedicated to fisheries and
aquaculture as well as participate in a visit to an experimental shellfish farm. Before their journey
ends, the delegation will be able to visit the port of Gruissan and the Halle à Marée – Criée d’Agde.
By the end of the trip, the Minister and the delegation will have a better understanding of how
stakeholders in the Shetland Islands, UK and Sete, France have managed their fisheries sector and how
reforms have been undertaken to benefit livelihoods and their economy. In addition, they will have a
much clearer understanding on how to effectively manage Seychelles ocean spaces to allow fisheries,
aquaculture and other blue economy initiatives to co-exist.
You may want to listen to the interview of Minister Ferrari on BBC Radio by clicking on the below link;
Ministry of Fisheries and Blue Economy
2nd Floor Maison Collet
Palm Street, Victoria, Mahé
P.O Box 408
Republic of Seychelles
View the website HERE!