Significant steps towards fisheries transparency as Seychelles launches 2020 FiTI Report

Significant steps towards fisheries transparency as Seychelles launches 2020 FiTI Report

Victoria/Seychelles – 15 December 2021. Seychelles today published its second annual report to the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI), as the Indian Ocean archipelago continues its push to enhance the public availability of fisheries management information.

The FiTI Report, covering the calendar year 2020, brings to the forefront important data on fish stocks, access agreements and government subsidies, among other areas of fisheries management. Today’s launch of Seychelles’ 2020 FiTI Report comes only eight months after the country published its – and the world’s – first ever FiTI Report, covering calendar year 2019. The new report addresses again all 12 thematic areas of the FiTI Standard, the only internationally-recognised transparency framework defining what fisheries information should be published online by national authorities.

The 2020 FiTI Report highlights that Seychelles has made significant progress towards increasing transparency around the way its marine fisheries sector is being managed. This is evident through the government’s sustained efforts to populate national websites with a range of information previously not available in the public domain. This includes for example:

Public access to such data lays the foundations for effective management decisions, greater accountability of public officials and better informed public debates, supporting the long-term sustainability of the sector. This new report also shows a gradual shift from a reactive model – where businesses or citizens must come forward and request specific information – to a proactive approach, where government information is already published online.

Other information formerly held internally by the Seychelles’ government is also now publicly available through the 2020 FiTI Report, including:

  • 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 catch and landing data for the sea cucumber and lobster fisheries;
  • fishing vessel licence and fishing activity licence payments from Seychelles’ small-scale fisheries;
  • a list of vessels apprehended for illegal fishing in Seychelles’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ); and
  • the value of fuel and ice subsidies provided to Seychelles’ small-scale fisheries sector.

“The hard work that went into compiling this 2020 FiTI Report, and the internal discussions it has already sparked, clearly show there is a growing interest from all sectors of society to resume ownership of our common resource” said Philippe Michaud, Chair of Seychelles’ FiTI National Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG). “I am convinced we are on the right path, and that the FiTI process will greatly contribute towards improving good governance of the sector and making it even more vibrant and prosperous than it is today.”

Seychelles’ FiTI National MSG – consisting of equal numbers of stakeholders from government, the business sector and civil society – collectively produced the 2020 FiTI Report, approving the accuracy of its contents and issuing unbiased recommendations for how national authorities can continue strengthening the country’s leadership in fisheries transparency. As part of Seychelles’ 2019 FiTI Report, the National MSG had already proposed 34 of these recommendations. This 2020 FiTI Report reveals that a total of 11 recommendations have already been fully implemented by Seychelles’ national authorities, while implementation of another six is in progress (as of December 2021). Monitoring such progress is a core responsibility of Seychelles’ FiTI National MSG.