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Seychelles – Mauritius extends Sustainable Fisheries Agreement

Seychelles and Mauritius has extended the current ‘Sustainable Fisheries Agreement’ for 60 days.

The extension is to prevent any disruption in fishing activities from fleets of both island nations until the new agreement is discussed and signed, considering that the current agreement was to expire on the 19th February, 2022.

The interim agreement is a product of a 5 day working visit of a delegation from Mauritius to the Seychelles, led by the Minister for Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, Mr Sudheer Maudhoo.

The Seychelles delegation was led by the Designated Minister and Minister for Fisheries and the Blue Economy, Mr Jean-Francois Ferrari, with representatives from the Ministry and the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA), and the Seychelles’ Honorary Consul to Mauritius, Mr Francis Chang Leng.

The interim agreement which is valid for 60 days includes an increase in the existing license fees as listed below:

  • Increase in license fees for fishing in Seychelles waters by Mauritius purse seiners from USD 110, 000 to EUR 143, 000
  • Increase in license fees for fishing in Mauritius waters by Seychelles purse seiners from USD 24, 000 to EUR 31, 200.
  • Increase in license fees for long liners in the respective agreements, for a period of six months from USD 17, 000 to EUR 22750 and for a period of one year from USD 30, 000 to EUR 39, 000
  • Increase in license fees for supply vessel in the respective Agreements, from USD 5, 000 to EUR 5, 000.

The interim Agreements has also introduced an environment and research fee of EUR 2.25 per Gross Tonnage (GT) per purse seine vessel per year.

Other provisions include the management of Fish Aggregation Devices (FADs), in the waters of Seychelles and Mauritius, safeguarding the interest of both parties before the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) meetings, the need to increase maritime surveillance and ways to seek support and funding and also to endeavour to embark national seamen.

The Seychelles delegation referred to the previous Joint Commission meeting held in Mauritius in November 2021, concerning sea-cucumber exploratory fishing. It was agreed at the Joint Management Area (JMA) meeting that there would be an exchange of fishing conditions by both sides so as to agree on licensing conditions as soon as possible. The Seychelles side had sent its proposed licensing conditions to the Mauritian focal point of the JMA, but had not received a feedback. The Mauritius side took note of the above and has given their commitment to take this request to the JMA Project Management Office.

During their working visit in Seychelles, the Mauritian delegation also had the opportunity to visit artisanal and semi-industrial fisheries facilities on Mahe, managed by the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA).

They also met with various stakeholders in the fisheries sector during their working visit, Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) secretariat based in Seychelles, local representatives of the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI) and the commissioners of the JMA.

Minister Maudhoo has extended an invitation to the Designated Minister and his delegation to an exchange visit in Rodrigues, particularly to learn more about the management of the octopus fishery.