Seychelles publishes 2021 FiTI Report

Seychelles publishes 2021 FiTI Report

28 February 2023. Seychelles has today published its third annual FiTI Report, covering information for the calendar year 2021 and offering interested national and international stakeholders another important means to understand the current state of the country’s marine fisheries sector.

The 2021 FiTI Report summarises a wide range of information from large- and small-scale catch data and the health of fish stocks to the details of access agreements and the extent of government subsidies to the sector. In addition to the comprehensive overview it provides into how fisheries are being managed in Seychelles, the report highlights how the country is performing against the 12 transparency requirements of the FiTI Standard, showing that national fisheries authorities continue to dedicate significant efforts to data collection and consistently make large amounts of information available in the public domain.

During the 2021 reporting cycle, various new information has been made available on government websites, such as those of the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) and Ministry of Fisheries and Blue Economy (MoFBE), including:

  • Catch and landing data from the sea cucumber and lobster fisheries for the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 seasons;
  • All stock assessment reports undertaken by SFA since 2017;
  • A list of convictions and offences in the fisheries sector in 2020 and 2021 along with relevant court cases.

In addition, in the process of preparing the report, the MoFBE provided clarifications to several longstanding areas of uncertainty regarding marine fisheries management in Seychelles. For example, the MoFBE underlined that no sector-specific subsidies are provided to Seychelles’ large-scale fisheries, and that an informal fisheries sector does exist in Seychelles, especially in the sports and recreational fishery which is currently unregulated.

Information for the 2021 FiTI Report was consolidated by Mrs Daniella Larue, Report Compiler, and collectively reviewed and approved by Seychelles FiTI National Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG), which consists of equal numbers of representatives from government, the private sector and civil society.

In his foreword to the report, Philippe Michaud, Acting CEO of the SFA and Chair of the National MSG noted that: “This third FiTI reporting process [has] revealed the Seychelles’ government’s commitment to improving the quality of its information on fisheries and fishing activities and the strides it has made to fill important information gaps…the report reflects mainstreaming of transparency in the Seychelles fisheries sector, i.e., the process has become more about updating information in the report rather than filling in large information gaps. The next step is to work towards making use of the data and ensuring that published information feeds into public debates and policy development.”

Will May, FiTI’s Regional Coordinator for the Western Indian Ocean added: “A key takeaway from this reporting cycle is the Seychelles government’s sustained commitment to maintaining transparency as a cornerstone of its approach to fisheries management. This is something to be celebrated and that other countries in the region can learn lessons from. However, as outlined in the FiTI’s recent compliance statement on Seychelles, transparency is not just about visibility but also making use of what is being made visible. The contents of these reports are a treasure trove of information, for journalists, civil society organisations and any curious member of the public. It needs to be ensured that all this available information is made use of, contributes to public debates and ultimately to the sustainability of marine fisheries in Seychelles.”