SeyCCAT strategic objective: 2
Lead Project Partner: Keith Andre
James Michel Blue Economy Research Institute, University of Seychelles
Seychelles has an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 1.37 million km2 with current and future prosperity of this SIDS uniquely linked to it marine and coastal assets. Fisheries is one of the key pillars of the Seychelles economy as it contributes immensely to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), employment and livelihood. A co-management model has been adopted which is a partnership arrangement between the government and the local community of resources users e.g. Seychelles Hook and Line Fishermen Association. Additionally, the Blue Economy is relatively a new concept and its considered learning by doing the process as the Ocean States continue to engage in sustainable resources management within the framework of the Blue Economy.
It should be noted that fisheries are of fundamental importance to the social and economic wellbeing of the inhabitants of Seychelles given that agriculture offers little opportunities for local livelihoods due to the limited land area. Despite the potential of the ocean as the current and future frontier for Seychelles economic development, there are growing concerns over the drop in total catch and catch rate in some of the primary fishery areas. This drop is linked to the average size of fish caught that are likely to place a strain on commercial fishing ventures.
More importantly, members of the fishers’ association are not directly linked to the market and have to go through middlemen to sell their daily catch. Given that the Hook and Line Fishermen Association in Mahé and also in the other Islands lack infrastructures to preserve the fish to ensure better market prices, they are left with no option but to sell their catch at a price determined by the middlemen. A good example is the price of the Swordfish fish which the middlemen buy for 40 SCR from the fishermen and sell it at 100 SCR. This has implication on the local livelihoods of fishermen who might go for more catch in order to earn more income, therefore questioning the sustainability of this species. Also, the operational costs of these operations are not known and a cost-benefit analysis could provide baseline information for sustainable fisheries management. The ongoing ABALOBI project has developed a mobile application that serves as a market place for fishers by linking them to potential customers in their neighbourhood. Eight fishermen including those from the voluntary fishermen will be attending a training in South Africa in September 2019 on how to use this application with the aim of providing such training to those who were not able to attend. With this application, fishers can increase their income without necessarily increasing their catch. One of the fishers mentioned that during the demonstration of the mobile application for the ABALOBI project, he was able to locate a buyer in his neighbourhood even for the low-value fish species which he could have used as fish bait if not sold.
Therefore, building on the ABALOBI project this project proposal focuses on a baseline survey on cost-benefit analysis along the fish value chain in addition to capacity building for sustainable fisheries management as follows:
Objective 1: Conduct a cost-benefit analysis of fishermen in Mahé Island.
Objective 2: Conduct a backward value chain analysis from consumers to fishermen on preferred species, estimated quantity and the amount they are willing to pay.
Objective 3: Conduct a Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat (SWOT) analysis among fishers on the use of the mobile application developed by the ABALOBI project.
SeyCCAT funds: SCR 533,000
Co-financing: UniSey: Use of venue for project-related activities, provide training for data collection, technical infield assistance, staff time spent on the project office and meeting space: approximate value SCR3,000/mo x 24 months SCR 72,000
Staff time: Average of total 5 days per month @ SCR750/day x 24 months SCR 90,000
Duration: 24 months
An environment and social management plan is not required.