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Projects

SeyCCAT supported projects are expected to align with the Sustainabe Develeopment Goals (SDGs).

Database

We have collated information on past and current projects in Seychelles to aid applicants in the design of proposals. We will use these datasets to ensure we do not duplicate past or ongoing projects:

Please inspect the database of past and current environmental and conservation projects in Seychelles to ensure your proposal is not duplicating past or current efforts.

Please inspect the database of past and current fisheries projects in Seychelles (as carried out by the Seychelles Fishing Authority) to ensure your proposal is not duplicating past or current efforts.

On-going SeyCCAT partnerships and projects

The map and the links below profile our BGF#1 partners and their projects.

 

Improving the socio-economic knowledge of the Seychelles Artisanal Fishery

Type: Small

SeyCCAT Strategic Objective: Empower the fisheries sector with robust science and knowhow to improve governance, sustainability, value and market options

Lead Project Partner: Karine Rassool

Partners: University of York, Seychelles Fishing Authority

Summary: The artisanal fisheries sector is an important contributor to both employment and food security in the Seychelles. In addition to supplying fish for the local population and tourism establishments, an estimated 10% of the total landed catch is exported. This contributes an additional USD 1 million in yearly foreign exchange earnings to the national economy.

Despite the fundamental economic, social and cultural significance of the fisheries, there have been recent concerns about the status of the demersal stocks exploited by artisanal fishers around the Mahe Plateau, particularly due to the open access nature of this multi-species fishery. In response, the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) developed a demersal fisheries management plan in 2015.

Despite this, SFA has yet to develop a harmonized method to capture socio-economic information related to the various fisheries sub-sectors. As a result, the management plan for the demersal fisheries was developed with only a limited understanding of the socio-economic profiles of artisanal fishermen . Thus, it has been widely criticized   as placing “the fish before the fisher” and has lacked support from the fishing community, thereby limiting its efficacy.

The central aim of this proposed project is to fill this gap in knowledge by developing an effective and efficient methodology to elicit socio-economic information from local boat owners and fishermen involved in the demersal fisheries sector. Additionally, the project will also seek to gain a better understanding of boat owner’s and fishermen’s behavior and opinions, i.e. what drives their decision-making processes, how they perceive they will be affected by the new proposed management plan and what measures they believe would successfully ensure long term sustainability of the demersal fish stocks of the Mahe Plateau.

SeyCCAT Funds: SCR 100,000

Co-finance: —

Duration: July 2018 – July 2019

Download the project application form

Piloting voluntary fisheries zone closure on Praslin Island for the benefit of the marine environment and fisher folks

Type: Large 

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

Science based restoration of commercially important spiny lobster habitats to help develop a sustainable fishery

Type: Large

SeyCCAT Strategic Objective: Empower the fisheries sector with robust science and knowhow to improve governance, sustainability, value and market options

Lead Project Partner: Marine Conservation Society Seychelles

Partners: University of Seychelles, Blue Economy Research Institute, Anse Forbans Community Conservation Programme, Seychelles Fishing Authority

Summary: Spiny lobsters are an important source of income for local fishers in Seychelles, however, declines in abundance prevent consistency in the operation of the commercial fishery. In recent years, many of the fringing reefs in Seychelles, have become dominated by fleshy macro algae and no longer support the same numbers of common and commercially important reef inhabitants, such as lobsters and octopus. The bleaching events and subsequent collapse of coral reefs have triggered this paradigm shift and reduced the availability of potential habitat to these species.

Supplementation of degraded reefs with artificial habitats has been shown to provide valuable increases in spiny lobster numbers but for this to be a real increase in population, rather than an aggregation of existing stock, the level of recruitment and availability of lobster post-larval phases and juveniles has to be assessed and if necessary managed. Similarly, a clearer knowledge of the juvenile to adult lifecycle habitat requirements is necessary as lobsters undergo multiple moults during which they need security from predators.

Anse Royale and Anse Forbans are both fringing reef structures along the South East Coast of Mahe; over the years there have been marked changes at these sites, in both coral reef and other benthic habitats, most notably sea-grasses. Bel Ombre is on the North West coast and has been surveyed for lobsters by the SFA monitoring programme and would be used as a reference site to assess the effects of artificial habitats on wild lobster population.

SeyCCAT Funds: SCR 950,290

Co-finance: SCR 959,178

Duration: June 2018 to May 2019

Download the project application form

Development and Operationalisation of National Fish Identification Website and Database

Type: Large

SeyCCAT Strategic Objective: Empower the fisheries sector with robust science and knowhow to improve governance, sustainability, value and market options

Lead Project Partner: John Nevill

Partners: Victoria Computer Services (Pty) Limited, Seychelles Fishing Authority

Summary: The national promotion of the Blue Economy, development of the marine spatial plan and transition to co-management regimes for fisheries all depend on informed stakeholder participation for their success. A key obstacle to effective stakeholder involvement is a lack of ability to identify and access information regarding, the fish species found in our waters and that make up the artisanal fishery. This is further complicated by a diverse and locally varied Creole nomenclature e.g. the Bull shark has at least 3 Creole names, whereas the Creole name “Nennen pwent” encompasses 4 species of shark. The solution proposed is to develop a fish website, free at the point of use, which will enable anyone with internet to access the site and undertake species searches by Scientific (family, genus or species), English, Creole or French names. The proponent has monitored the artisanal fishery catch intensively for 5 years, photographing and identifying over 320 species of fish (teleost and elasmobranch). This information and proprietary images will serve as the collateral to establish the database.

This project seeks to support national initiatives in marine management, research, education, conservation and sustainable use by providing free and ready access to a fish identification website and database bridging a key information gap and thereby enhancing stakeholder participation.

Process: The website will be initiated with pages on over 320 species with information and guidance on key characteristics for identification and information on size, habitat, biology with references and/or links to further data including, where available, fishery and research information pertaining to the Seychelles population(s).

SeyCCAT Funds: SCR 341,500

Co-finance: SCR 258,495

Duration: June 2018 – May 2019

Download the project application form

Assessment and Mitigation of Impact of the Artisanal Fishery on Species of Local Concern

Type: Large

SeyCCAT Strategic Objective: Empower the fisheries sector with robust science and knowhow to improve governance, sustainability, value and market options

Lead Project Partner: Green Islands Foundation

Partners: Bel Ombre Fishers Association, Fishing Boat Owners Association, Artisanal Shark Fishers Association, Seychelles Fishing Authority

Summary: In 2017 GIF undertook the first assessment of the artisanal catch of threatened species (IUCN criteria). This involved intensive monitoring of more than 50% of the artisanal catch and extensive consultation and partnership with artisanal fishers. During consultations fishers identified a list of additional species that were of local concern due to the decline in catches fishers had noted over the last 20-30 years. This project proposes to undertake 12 months intensive monitoring of the artisanal catch to:

  • Assess the nature of the artisanal catch of these species of local concern, i.e. number, size/maturity, seasonality and method of catch.
  • Undertake the first assessment of the artisanal ray fishery, a research priority under the Seychelles National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks (2016-2020)(NPOA).
  • Gather a 12-month dataset (i.e. double the dataset) on the catch of threatened species.

The project will take place on Mahe and cover more than 50% of the national artisanal catch by monitoring key landing sites and points of sale.

SeyCCAT Funds: SCR 599,500

Co-finance: SCR 862,544

Duration: June 2018 – Sept 2019

Download the project application form

Spatial ecology and response to catch-and-release of recreationally targeted fish species on St. François and Alphonse Atolls: Implications for conservation and management.

Type: Large

SeyCCAT Strategic Objective: Empower the fisheries sector with robust science and knowhow to improve governance, sustainability, value and market options

Lead Project Partner: Alphonse Foundation  

Partners: University of Massachusetts Amherst; Carleton University; Bonefish & Tarpon Trust; Seychelles Fishing Authority

Summary: Among fly anglers, St. François Atolls and Alphonse (STF, and AA, respectively) are legendary. Recreational anglers from around the world travel to its remote habitat to target species such as Bonefish (Albula glossodonta), Indo-Pacific Permit (Trachinotus blochii), Milkfish (Chanos chanos), and Giant Trevally (Caranx ignobilis). Pioneering fly-fishing expeditions to AA and STF stated the richness of their waters prior 1999, when the Alphonse Island Lodge became operational. Catch and release (C&R) ecotourism was established early in 2001, but it was not until 2013 when the Alphonse Fishing Company (AFC) took over promising to benefit the fishery through best angling practices, as well as creating livelihood opportunities for people in the region. AFC has exclusive rights to fly-fish the reef flats and the lagoons of these atolls, with fishing effort being controlled through the angling operation and its guides in collaboration with ICS and IDC. Since other ecotourism activities are relatively limited and benign, the terrestrial and marine ecosystems of AA and STF are on the official process of becoming protected areas to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of their terrestrial and marine biodiversity.

Despite C&R fly fishing representing an important income to the economy of the country, it is unknown as to whether C&R recreational angling activities are affecting targeted species and their essential habitats. The ICS has already established long-term monitoring of catch rates for recreationally targeted fish species, as well as established a code-of-conduct to ensure guides and anglers follow conservation guidelines with respect to C&R. Nevertheless, in both cases, very little research has been conducted to scientifically quantify movement patterns and the response of these important fish species to C&R. Recent anecdotes from AFC guides also indicate that the wariness of Giant Trevally (GTs) is changing, and discussions have begun regarding rotating closures of flats to reduce fishing pressure. This presents a rare opportunity to quantify how flats species adjust their spatial ecology and behavior in response to changes in angler pressure – an important step to determining what the carrying capacity of anglers are to specific flats. Addressing such questions will not only inform management decisions on AA and STF, but also act as a model for recreational fisheries throughout the region.

SeyCCAT Funds: SCR 1M

Co-finance: SCR 3.8M

Duration: July 2018 to June 2020

Download the project application form

Completed SeyCCAT projects

This section will contain details of all projects that SeyCCAT has supported and that have now completed. 

Watch this space...