Seychelles’ latest FiTI Report shows benefits of making fisheries transparency ‘mainstream’

Seychelles’ latest FiTI Report shows benefits of making fisheries transparency ‘mainstream’

25 April  2024. Seychelles’ National Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) recently unveiled its fourth annual FiTI Report, describing the state of its marine fisheries sector throughout 2022. This publication stands as a crucial resource for local and global stakeholders alike, offering insights into the dynamics shaping Seychelles’ marine fisheries.

The 2022 FiTI Report presents a comprehensive array of data identified by the 12 thematic areas of the FiTI Standard, spanning from catch statistics across different scales of fishing operations to the health of fish populations, along with detailed information on access agreements and governmental subsidies within the sector. The report also highlights national fisheries authorities’ dedication to maintaining robust data collection practices and consistent information sharing with the public.

Mrs. Daniella Larue, the Report Compiler, spearheaded the consolidation of data for the 2022 FiTI Report. Additionally, Seychelles’ FiTI National MSG, made up of representatives from government, the private sector, and civil society in equal measure, collectively reviewed and endorsed the report.

During the 2022 reporting cycle, various new information has been made available on government websites, including foreign fishing access agreements; a Sustainable Fisheries Agreement with management companies of Seychelles-Flagged vessels; an explanation for absent published procedures for joining the sea cucumber fishery; a list of convictions and offences in the fisheries sector from 2020 to 2023 along with relevant court cases; studies on the economic contribution of sub-sectors in artisanal fishery; and a 2018 study on employment and job opportunities in the industrial tuna fishery.

Additional unpublished information has also now been made publicly available, including a list of fisheries and fisheries-related businesses operating in the SITZ by number of employees for the years 2020-2022; a list of ODA-funded projects relating to marine conservation being implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment in 2022; and a list of fisheries and marine conservation projects, funded by overseas development assistance through SeyCCAT, active in 2022.

Concerted efforts by the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) and the small-scale fisheries sector are driving significant advances towards transparent, sustainable, and inclusive fisheries management. This commitment is underscored by the SFA’s decision to release all stock assessment reports and an updated overview of fisheries stock assessments, and to include information on discards and gender in the artisanal fishery in the 2022 Fisheries Statistical Report.

Public engagement has been enhanced by the Lobster Flyers initiative, an effort that presents scientific information on the lobster fishery in a simplified format, making complex data more accessible to a wider audience. The SFA’s efforts to quantify the economic contribution of specific sub-sectors within artisanal fisheries have also provided valuable insights into the sector’s dynamics and will aid decisions on policy and resource allocation, ensuring the sector’s sustainability and resilience.

Philippe Michaud, Seychelles’ FiTI Lead, noted that the FiTI initiative is not only about making more information available to the public and stakeholders but also making it more meaningful and useful for all [] I am pleased to note that there has been an active participation of the group in the preparation of the report with enquiries on various issues.”

A summary version of the report is available on the Seychelles Fishing Authority website.