Spanner crab fishers in Seychelles updated on management plan by SFA and international partners

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SFA has been working on the Seychelles spanner crab fishery by applying FishPath as a tool. (Seychelles Fishing Authority)

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All parties involved in the spanner crab fishing sector in Seychelles were updated on work being carried out by the local fishing authority in a workshop on Thursday.

The workshop is part of a collaboration with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) under the International Climate Initiative (IKI) grant.

Participants also had the opportunity to give their feedback to help local authorities formulate fisheries management regulations.  

The Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) has been working on the Seychelles spanner crab fishery by applying FishPath as a tool.

FishPath is an approach to make the fisheries sector sustainable by adopting a bottom-up approach to fisheries management and has so far been applied in 17 countries spanning over 45 fisheries.

Seychelles is among other island states in the Indian Ocean that have received a grant from the German government through The Nature Conservancy, headquartered in Virginia, the United States.

“The grant has two objectives; one is working on the tuna industry and the second is the FishPath,” Seychellois fisheries expert at TNC, Ameer Ebrahim, told reporters.





Participants also had the opportunity to give their feedback to help local authorities formulate fisheries management regulations. (Seychelles Fishing Authority) Photo License: CC-BY 

The first two fisheries to be targeted under the FishPath component are lobster and spanner crab fisheries.

Ebrahim, who is also the focal person for the project, said that the lobster and spanner crab fisheries were identified as needing a bit more attention in a consultative process in 2019.

He also explained that it will also develop a fisheries management plan.

Ebrahim said that some people may think this is something negative that will stop people from fishing.

“This could not be further from the truth because if a management plan is properly implemented, it takes into account all the aspects of fisheries – economic, social and the environment,” he explained.

As part of the FishPath project, SFA personnel are being trained to develop a plan that will be useful to everyone and not just those working in offices.

The workshop on Thursday concentrated on the spanner crab fisheries, as there have been new developments in that kind of fishing. SFA has carried out a survey of species on the Mahe Plateau, which provided an idea of the distribution of the species there.

It was also an opportunity for the SFA officials to receive the feedback of other parties involved, which will help in drafting its upcoming sea life framework.

At the launching of the event, the Minister for Fisheries and the Blue Economy, Jean-Francois Ferrari, said, “We want to ensure that everyone can fish today and that own children and grandchildren can do so tomorrow.”

The meeting was also a chance for the authorities to build better communication and trust with the fishers and showcase the importance of practising or proactively managing a resource.

Now that the authorities have made the step at strengthening relationships, communications, and information flow between fishers and SFA, the input provided will be used when drafting the various aspects of formal fisheries management.



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