Saturday, September 1, 2012

No fish and no fishers? The future of the Seychelles artisanal fishery looks bleak

Artisanal catch (Tim Holt)
Ah! A nice plate of grilled fish and rice. Familiar yet delicious. As much a part of Seychellois cuisine as it is an important piece of our cultural identity.

The Seychelles food staple is fish and rice. The rice comes from overseas but the fish from our waters. As individuals we eat more fish than almost anyone else in the world - every Seychellois eats 65 to 75 kilos of fish every year.


But both the fish we eat and those who fish for them are in trouble.The local artisanal fishery has reached that critical stage which fisheries biologists call “fully exploited” with some fish stocks over-exploited and even depleted according to reports from the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA). The decline in important fish species caught by the artisanal fishery, such as the iconic Emperor red snapper or bourzwa in Creole, is something that goes far beyond the sector and threatens the sustainability of Seychellois society.

Now, a new study has shown that artisanal fishermen or fishers (in gender-sensitive speak) are also in danger – they are the most destitute economic group in Seychelles. The poverty study funded by the UNDP showed that 17% of our population is living below the poverty line. The households especially affected by poverty are the larger families and fisher families. Yet, in a 2006 report the Central Bank of Seychelles said that the earnings of artisanal fishers are relatively high. The sector seems to have done well. Exports from this local fishing sector stood at around R20 million per year in the 1990’s and early 2000.

When I was working at the Seychelles Fishing Authority back in the ‘80s, we were worried that the population of fishers was aging with few graduates of the then Maritime School joining the sector. I worked with others at SFA in many outreach and skills and technology transfer programs for fishers to try to remedy the situation.. The Development Bank of Seychelles has also been providing loans to artisanal fishers since that time.

The Maritime Training Centre (MTC) has been restructured several times to meet the needs of the fishing and general maritime sector. But today, like in the ‘80s, very few young people are taking up artisanal fishing as a job. A large number of the graduates of the MTC are young women who prefer jobs in tourism, maritime transport, conservation and other activities.

Any good news in the offing? Not really. Trades tax on imported fresh and chilled fish has been reduced from 200% to 25% as of September 1st. This move comes because piracy has constrained certain fishing operations leading to shortages at times. But the prospects of foreign currency being used in bringing fish from overseas and imported fish competing with the local catch are not exactly conducive to investment and growth in the sector.

We may in fact experience the reverse of import-substitution. Additional to the fish that’s exported, about 40 per cent of the total catch is consumed by tourists and crews of foreign vessels. This is beneficial to the fishers who can get a better price for their fish. This lucrative market for local fish may shrink as imported fish takes its place.

It seems we are facing a double crisis - one of disappearing fish and fishers As fish and fishers get scarcer, the price of locally caught fish will rise steeply putting it in outside the budget of some. More and more people may become malnourished. That group living below the poverty line will get much larger. The entire fabric of our society will be affected.

(Adapted from Gaia, 30 August 2012, the author’s column in The People newspaper, 30/8/12)

References:

 Alexis. M, and A.Chang-Sam. 2006. Fisheries Industry of the Seychelles: At a crossroad. Central Bank of Seychelles Quarterly Review, Vol. XXIV NO.1 CBS Quarterly Report

Anon. 2011. Status of Resources. South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Commission. FAO. SFS/DM/SWIOFC/11 3 E. SWIOFC Status of Resources

Muller, C. 2012. Poverty in Seychelles: Policy Digest. Government of Seychelles/United Nations Development Programme. Unpublished Report.

This blog has hit the front page of the print media

6 comments:

Purva Sharegistry said...

My Brothers and Sister all over the world, I am Mrs Boo Wheat from Canada ; i was in need of loan some month ago. i needed a loan to open my restaurant and bar, when one of my long time business partner introduce me to this good and trustful loan lender DR PURVA PIUS that help me out with a loan, and is interest rate is very low , thank God today. I am now a successful business Woman, and I became useful. In the life of others, I now hold a restaurant and bar. And about 30 workers, thank GOD for my life I am leaving well today a happy father with three kids, thanks to you DR PURVA PIUS Now I can take care of my lovely family, i can now pay my bill. I am now the bread winner of my family. If you are look for a trustful and reliable loan leader. You can Email him via,mail (urgentloan22@gmail.com) Please tell him Mrs Boo Wheat from Canada introduce you to him. THANKS.

Purva Sharegistry said...

My Brothers and Sister all over the world, I am Mrs Boo Wheat from Canada ; i was in need of loan some month ago. i needed a loan to open my restaurant and bar, when one of my long time business partner introduce me to this good and trustful loan lender DR PURVA PIUS that help me out with a loan, and is interest rate is very low , thank God today. I am now a successful business Woman, and I became useful. In the life of others, I now hold a restaurant and bar. And about 30 workers, thank GOD for my life I am leaving well today a happy father with three kids, thanks to you DR PURVA PIUS Now I can take care of my lovely family, i can now pay my bill. I am now the bread winner of my family. If you are look for a trustful and reliable loan leader. You can Email him via,mail (urgentloan22@gmail.com) Please tell him Mrs Boo Wheat from Canada introduce you to him. THANKS.

Purva Sharegistry said...

My Brothers and Sister all over the world, I am Mrs Boo Wheat from Canada ; i was in need of loan some month ago. i needed a loan to open my restaurant and bar, when one of my long time business partner introduce me to this good and trustful loan lender DR PURVA PIUS that help me out with a loan, and is interest rate is very low , thank God today. I am now a successful business Woman, and I became useful. In the life of others, I now hold a restaurant and bar. And about 30 workers, thank GOD for my life I am leaving well today a happy father with three kids, thanks to you DR PURVA PIUS Now I can take care of my lovely family, i can now pay my bill. I am now the bread winner of my family. If you are look for a trustful and reliable loan leader. You can Email him via,mail (urgentloan22@gmail.com) Please tell him Mrs Boo Wheat from Canada introduce you to him. THANKS.

Dr Purva Pius said...

Hello Everybody,
My name is Mrs Sharon Sim. I live in Singapore and i am a happy woman today? and i told my self that any lender that rescue my family from our poor situation, i will refer any person that is looking for loan to him, he gave me happiness to me and my family, i was in need of a loan of S$250,000.00 to start my life all over as i am a single mother with 3 kids I met this honest and GOD fearing man loan lender that help me with a loan of S$250,000.00 SG. Dollar, he is a GOD fearing man, if you are in need of loan and you will pay back the loan please contact him tell him that is Mrs Sharon, that refer you to him. contact Dr Purva Pius,via email:(urgentloan22@gmail.com) Thank you.

BORROWERS APPLICATION DETAILS


1. Name Of Applicant in Full:……..
2. Telephone Numbers:……….
3. Address and Location:…….
4. Amount in request………..
5. Repayment Period:………..
6. Purpose Of Loan………….
7. country…………………
8. phone…………………..
9. occupation………………
10.age/sex…………………
11.Monthly Income…………..
12.Email……………..

Regards.
Managements
Email Kindly Contact: urgentloan22@gmail.com

mauro said...

offer of loan in 48 hours.


Hello do you Have financial concerns? And those who have difficulty obtaining capital loans from local banks and other financial institutions. Please refer to this E-mail address: maurogiovanni00@gmail.com

whatsapp: 0022961446810

mauro said...

offer of loan in 48 hours.


Hello do you Have financial concerns? And those who have difficulty obtaining capital loans from local banks and other financial institutions. Please refer to this E-mail address: maurogiovanni00@gmail.com

whatsapp: 0022961446810