SeyCCAT strategic objective: 5
Lead Project Partner: Fishermen and Boat Owners Association
- Fishermen and Boat Owners Association (FBOA)
- ABALOBI – South Africa
- Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS) – France
Artisanal fishing is an important source of food and income for people in Seychelles. It represents annually between 3500 to 4000 tons of fish unloaded at Mahé, La Digue and Praslin. Emperor red snappers, jackfish, jobfish and groupers represent 83% of the catch, whereas mackerel, tuna, sharks and octopuses share the remaining 17%, these species are all caught close to the shore. It is practised by more than 1,700 fishers, anxious to secure the future of their business and livelihoods. In a country where each inhabitant consumes an average 62 kg of fish per year (compared to 21 kg in Mauritius and 60 kg in Japan), this important activity is the primary source of protein and ensures food security for many of the country’s inhabitants. While the artisanal fisheries sector has historically been an open access fishery, it is likely that this will be reviewed and controlled, with co-management structures to be implemented. In order to ensure that the artisanal fishery sector remains sustainable, a participatory Fisheries Management approach is critical.
The project will take place in Mahé and designed to be potentially replicated in La Digue and Praslin after the project ends. These are the places where 3500 to 4000 tons of fish are annually unloaded by small-scale fishing operators.
This proposal aims to address several important needs identified by the fishers and their association in order to implement co-management using data-driven tools and Satellite and Information Communication Technologies. This project will build on an existing and funded partnership between ABALOBI and the FBOA (e-logbooks, digital marketplace and traceability platform) and will bring in CLS (Fisheries Monitoring Center and Vessel Monitoring System service provider for the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) since 2002) for rolling out tracking system onboard the fishing vessels; integration of satellite tracking data collection and data visualization of the artisanal fleet. The proposed testing in real conditions and in partnership with traditional fishermen of small vessel tracking devices specifically designed for their needs will aid in the collaborative management of the fishery with the SFA. Ultimately the project intends to foster improved data collection and promote the UN-Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries by implementing monitoring mechanisms that can secure access for, and guarantee the sustainability of, artisanal and small-scale fisheries sectors.
The overall outcome of the project is to put in place a full mechanism allowing the FBOA and the SFA to establish a sustainable management plan of the resources for artisanal and small-scale fisheries. Improved co-management of resources should facilitate the new licensing policy, a more participatory stock assessment approach, the management of MPAs as well as provide an increased return for the fish caught.
The general objective of this project is to establish a small-scale pilot project and proof of concept engaging 30 voluntary fishermen. The outputs are a set of co-management tools for the FBOA working with the SFA and reports. The activities carried out are the deployment of the hybrid tracking system, the customisation of existing tools for traceability of value chains, the consolidation of the data collected into dashboard indicators as well as surveys and regular workshops with the fishermen, the FBOA and the SFA. The key expected result is that the project outputs would facilitate social interaction for decision-making which encourage societal change towards sustainability.
The rationale for the project approach is that successful co-management should provide to fishermen the means to contribute to SSF effectively. consolidated data collected during their fishing trips by CLS and would feed an inclusive, transparent and evidence-based decision-making process.
The project beneficiaries are the SFA and the FBOA.
The project duration is 18 months and includes a trial at-sea phase of 12 months to experiment with the proposed tools in operating conditions and collect the user’s experience.
The project is aligned with the national Blue Economy Strategic roadmap (2018-2030) and the commitment which has been developed to transition to sustainable fisheries and safeguarding the oceans while developing the national blue economy sector. The project will strengthen the social inclusion and livelihoods dimension by introducing robust science-based tools and co-management mechanism to secure a just place for artisanal fishers in the Blue Economy. The project is also aligned with the international priority for the UN Sustainable Development Goals and contributes to the target 14.b “provide access for small-scale fishers to marine resources and markets” under Goal 14 “Life below water”.
SeyCCAT funds: SCR 1, 000, 000
Co-financing: SCR 1, 071, 500
Duration: 18 months