SeyCCAT Strategic Objective: Empower the fisheries sector with robust science and knowhow to improve governance, sustainability, value and market options
Lead Project Partner: Lasosiasyon Peser Pralen (Praslin Fishers Association) – pending final approvals
Partners: Environmental NGO Anba Lao, Seychelles Fishing Authority
Summary: Excessive harvest of living marine resources can lead to ecosystem-wide effects as a result of trophic cascades. Lately, there has been greater realization by local fishers that they are the true custodians of the marine resources around the islands and that it is their responsibility to ensure that these resources are exploited in a sustainable manner. With this realisation, one community of fishers from the Praslin Fishers Association (PFA) is taking actions to safeguard the environment and their livelihoods.
On the island of Praslin, there are about 60 registered boats participating in the small-scale fishery, which together provides employment for about 150 fishers. Two thirds of these boats are small out-board engine powered boats locally known as Mini-Mahé, which usually operates within 10 miles from the island. These small boats usually does a mix of trap and handline fishing. During the North West Monsoon when the sea is calm, fishers venture further out to fish on the many deeper offshore fishing banks where the catch is more abundant. Nevertheless, they also continue to fish extensively on the surrounding fringing reefs as a result of easy picking.
During the South East Trade winds, when the sea is rough, the number of days that fishers can go beyond the reef is limited and most fishing is concentrated in the lagoons. In order to better protect fish stocks in these lagoons and the livelihoods of fishermen, this project is proposing to informally close the bay of Baie Ste Anne from fishing during the North West Monsoon and encourage fishers to use offshore fishing grounds and re-open it during the rougher South East Trade winds period.
The rationale is that during the period of closure, fish in this area will have the opportunity to increase in both numbers and sizes. The re-opening of fishing during period of rough sea will provide fishers with a better fishing ground where they can continue to fish in safety and earn their livelihoods. This fisheries closure will be done in an informal manner, through a gentlemen’s agreement among fishers, without the need for any legislation. This will essentially turn the bay of Baie Ste Anne into a Locally Managed Marine Area (LMMA), a tool which has proven to be extremely successful in the management of fisheries resources in many parts of Africa and Asia.
SeyCCAT Funds: SCR 877,200
Co-finance: SCR 50,000
Duration: July 2018 – Dec 2019
Download the project application form
Update: The fishery closure started on the 1st November 2019 and ending on the 30th April 2020, during the north-west monsoon has now ended. Preliminary findings is that only 3 fishers were not compliant to the voluntary closure. From the early discussions with the fishers, they have all appreciated the long-term benefits of such a closure
We cannot do it all alone. A co-management approach has been seen to be the most impactful. Based on the results of this closure, your sacrifice will be able to inform our policies in the long-term. We are glad to see that the fishers are taking the opportunity that SeyCCAT is offering!Vincent Lucas
We have seen what is happening in Madagascar and Comoros and we must ensure Seychelles does not end up in the same situation. It is for this reason that FBOA, Praslin is supportive of this initiative. We applaud the Praslin Fishers’ Association for taking on this initiative and we are happy to be here for the launch.Chair, Fishers and Boatowners Association
It all started during a discussion under the coconut trees on Praslin. We then took it upon ourselves to ensure that something is done. The closure will be from the 1st November to the 30th April 2020. It is both temporary and voluntary and the fishers are committed to respect this closure so we can reap the long-term benefits.Darrell Green