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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

SeyCCAT-Nekton funded Seychellois Researchers on deep-water (up to 500m) expedition.

 

7 SEYCHELLOIS RESEARCHERS FUNDED TO PARTICIPATE IN NEKTON MISSION. 

 

 

 

 

 

                        Andrew Souffre                                               Stephanie Marie                                       Clara Belmont 

                         Fisheries Scientist                                      Research Technician                             Senior Research Technician 

 

Research Topic: Variability in trophic signatures of zooplankton and food web dynamics within Seychelles waters

Seychelles depends highly on fish, as their main source of protein, and planktons (small microorganisms in the water) happen to play a vital role in fish diet. However, the effect of climate change threaten the plankton communities. In order to ensure good fish quality for consumption the Seychelles Fisheries Authority (SFA) needs to observe how climate change is having an effect on the marine ecosystem  and in turn, influence the management plan for sustainable fisheries.

Sheena Talma from the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change.

Research topic: Spatio-temporal abundance and distribution of ichthyoplankton with the Seychelles waters.

The Indian Ocean remains a region of scientific interest as little research has been conducted within its waters and only a handful have investigated zooplankton communities especially the occurrence of fish larvae and eggs throughout the water column. Knowing what types of fish larvae occur at different depths and oceanic regions gives valuable information as to the spawning dynamics of different fish species. This project aims to identify species found at different locations and depths throughout the Seychelles waters. The findings will inform the preliminary species occurrence and spatial distribution of fish larvae in the Seychelles EEZ.

Dr. Jeanne A. Mortimer

Research question: What species of seagrass and marine algae occur in the outer islands of Seychelles? How are the species distributed from island to island? What is the relationship between water depth and patterns of distribution and species composition? What is the maximum depth in which they can survive?

 

 Jennifer Appoo – the Science and Projects Coordinator at the Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF).

Research question will combine data on top marine predators from the Seychelles Islands Foundation with the data collected from the Nekton Expedition and will provide a complete picture of the marine predator community around Aldabra down to 500m.

Aldabra’s near-shore marine area is divided into three management zones namely tourism zones, food security zones and conservation zones. This type of zonation strategy within a marine protected area is the first in Seychelles. The research will investigate the abundance, diversity and distribution of marine predators around Aldabra from the shallow to the deep sea and the effectiveness of the zoning plan on these top predators. The results will provide valuable lessons for sustainable fisheries management for Aldabra and this model example can be replicated in other locations in the country through the Marine Spatial Planning process.

Damien Labiche assistant conservation officer from the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change.

Research Topic: Identification of deep-sea shark and rays

Sharks and rays play an important role in the ecosystem as apex predators.  Through a highly collaborative process our project aims to identify deep-sea sharks that may be collected on camera footage from ROV’s drop cameras and subs. The occurrence of species in the area will be key to be able to compare data sets with regional and international partners. This is an important undertaking as it will allow for preliminary data to be collected and possible shark species to be identified in the Seychelles, where previous records do not exist.

 

Currents of Change: Empowering and educating in the Seychelles by investigating marine plastic pathways, composition, and recyclability alongside the removal of marine plastic pollution from the iconic world heritage site Aldabra Atoll

 

Type: Large

SeyCCAT strategic objective: Support new and existing marine and coastal protected areas and sustainable use zones.

Lead Project Partner: Seychelles Islands Foundation

Partners:  Queen’s College, University of Oxford.

Summary:  Inappropriately disposed waste washed out from landfills, items discarded into rivers and at sea, along with fishing equipment can become marine debris which travel long distances and eventually wash onshore. This marine debris accumulates on the beaches of even the most remote and pristine places, like Aldabra Atoll, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Vast quantities of marine debris have been accumulating for years on Aldabra’s shoreline and in recent times this has dramatically accelerated. It is cataclysmically ironic that such an incredible place, inaccessible to most of humanity can be touched by marine debris, which harms this sanctuary’s endemic and endangered wildlife. This ever-growing problem can no longer be left unchecked and appropriate action must be taken to cause meaningful change. As such, the removal of accumulated marine debris is a top priority for SIF. Although Aldarba’s remoteness (1200km away from Mahé) and harsh conditions poses a major logistical challenge and one that exceeds SIF’s conventional financing means, the removal of marine debris from its shores is Aldabra Clean Up Project (ACUP)’s primary action. It is envisioned that Aldabra’s fauna, human visitors, Seychellois community and world population will benefit from the ACUP’s success. Ultimately, ACUP’s overarching outcome will be the cleaning of Aldabra’s shore through an expedition to take place in February – March 2019. The expedition will focus on the southern nest beaches and coastline which are the most affected by marine debris due to their exposure to the South East monsoon winds and inaccessibility. This extraordinary action carried out by a multi-national team will feed currents of change and create waves of actions for improved waste management and reduced plastic pollution throughout the country, unlocking local capacity to think differently of waste by transforming it into a resource. To achieve this outcome the project has five main objectives: (1) fundraising, (2) awareness & education (3) waste removal, (4) research and (5) waste management and processing.

SeyCCAT funds:  SCR 1 Million

Co-financing: SCR 3 116 300.

Duration: January 2019 – June 2020

Project Application Form:  (will be made available soon)

Assessing the effectiveness of Curieuse Marine National Park in the protection of the critical early life stages of sicklefin lemon sharks (Negaprionacutidens)

 

 

 

 

 

Type: Large

SeyCCAT strategic objective: Support new and existing marine and coastal protected areas and sustainable use zones.

Lead Project Partner: Global Vision International – Seychelles.

Partners:  Seychelles National Parks Authority, University of Seychelles, James Michel Blue Economy Research Institute.

Summary:   The sicklefin lemon shark (Negaprion acutidens; Ruppell 1835) is categorized as vulnerable (IUCN 2014), in part due to its coastal preference and consequent proximity to human activity, and it faces many threats to its continued survival. The species is fished throughout its range (Compagno 1990), and its small habitat range and limited movement patterns make it susceptible to local depletion since dispersal is limited (Stevens 1984, Stevens et al. 2000, Shultz et al. 2008). For effective protection of shark species it is important to gain an understanding of spatial movements and habitat preferences of critical life stages. The installation of an acoustic receiver array along the north and east coast of Curieuse Island, together with the acoustic tagging of 20 neonates, will enhance our knowledge of N.acutidensspatial ecology. Furthermore, results from this project will enable MPA practitioners to make informed future recommendations with regards to the protection of this particular species. Curieuse Marine National Park (CMNP), designated in 1979, is 2.9km2and located north of Praslin Island and a key tourism site in the inner islands. The island is surrounded by a shallow fringing reef and seagrass beds and has a healthy stand of mangroves. These habitats serve as key sea turtle feeding and nesting grounds as well as providing nursery habitat for key ecological species such as N. acutidens

The overall outcome of this project will be a greater understanding of the movements of neonate N. acutidens within CMNP and the efficacy of the park size in their protection.  The main objectives are:

  • Obtain an improved understanding of spatial behaviour and habitat use of 20 neonate acutidenswithin CMNP by monitoring their movements for six months using acoustic transmitters.
  • Refine mark-recapture population estimates of neonate acutidenswithin CMNP within 18 months
  • Develop local capacity by training at least 10 Seychellois stakeholders and MPA practitioners in shark research techniques by December 2019.
  • Contribute to national efforts to protect biodiversity by identifying areas of critical habitat within and outside CMNP used by the threatened species, neonate acutidens within 18 months
  • Provide critical habitat data to national park managers and stakeholders within CMNP and other protected areas to better inform management decisions regarding the conservation of acutidens within 18 months

Outputs will include maps showing the movement and critical habitat areas of neonate N. acutidensin CMNP, a training workshop for Seychellois stakeholders and students in shark research techniques, a signboard providing information on the project and a peer-reviewed scientific paper on the findings of the project. These outputs will be enabled by activities to include the installation of an acoustic receiver array and implantation of acoustic receivers in neonate N. acutidens, capacity building of staff and students through in-field research experience, and the production of communication materials to disseminate the key findings from the project. The rationale of the project approach is that by collecting data on the movement and habitat use of neonateN. acutidens, a species that is vulnerable to over-fishing, the effectiveness of CMNP in protecting the critical life stage can be assessed. There would be a wide range of beneficiaries associated with this project including SNPA, protected area managers, shark biologists, university students and local fishers. The project will operate over 18 months, with the following phases: 1) development and training; 2) implementation; and 3) assessment, monitoring and management. The project is well aligned with the objectives of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (2015-2020) including: 1.1. To make the Seychelles population aware of the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve it;3.2. To prevent the extinction and improve the conservation status of known threatened species, particularly those most in decline;5.3. To improve, share, transfer and apply the knowledge, science base and technologies relating to biodiversity, its values, functioning, status and trends, and the consequences of its loss. Finally, the project will contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 to “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development” under sub-goal 14.2 and 14.a.

SeyCCAT funds:  SCR 550 000

Co-financing:  SCR 550 000

Duration: January 2019 – June 2020

Project Application Form:  (will be made available soon)

Blue Economy Entrepreneurs -Creating smart, sustainable and shared prosperity through entrepreneurship ecosystem assessment and training

Type: Large

SeyCCAT strategic objectiveTrial and nurture business models to secure the sustainable development of the Seychelles Blue Economy

Lead Project Partner: Eco-Sol Consulting Pty Ltd (Seychelles) 

Partners:  Andrew Zimbroff (Assistant Professor) from The University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Summary:   Given the range of economic sectors, industries and stakeholders that make up the blue economy in Seychelles, an important challenge for stakeholders lies in understanding and better managing the entrepreneurship aspect related to economic diversification, shared prosperity and oceanic sustainability.

This proposal entails conducting a detailed study of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Seychelles through data collection, interviews and training workshops with key stakeholders such as government, NGOs, private sector organizations and essentially, blue economy entrepreneurs.

The project will be located in the Seychelles islands. With national emphasis placed on unlocking the potential of the blue economy for diversification, conservation and inclusive prosperity, it is imperative the entrepreneurial ecosystem of this economy is understood for improved decision making, innovation and sustainable development. The blue economy stands to disrupt our economic status quo, creating smart, sustainable and shared growth initiatives that should be compatible with Seychelles’ environmental objectives and align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal to ‘conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.’ It’s diverse components, including the traditional industries such as fisheries, tourism, and maritime transport, but also emerging activities such as aquaculture, offshore renewable energy, and marine biotechnology makes it crucial for stakeholders to understand how Blue Growth can be created, nurtured, delivered, and added value through the entrepreneurship ecosystem, thus identifying the gaps present in the system and mitigating any perceived risks.

The project will additionally seek to gain a better understanding of entrepreneurs’ attitudes towards business in the Blue Economy that can impact the ecosystem in the long term; how can Blue Growth be created through economic diversification and added value? Where do current challenges lie within the system? What measures would stakeholders need to take into consideration to successfully ensure the long-term sustainability of both business and ocean sustainability?

The methodology being proposed to achieve this is a mix of quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis methods, including literature reviews, survey instruments for market analyses, in-depth expert interviews and focus groups of key stakeholders in the blue economy. The focal point of the project is a 3-day startup entrepreneurship workshop focused on blue economy entrepreneurs, serving to generate new ‘blue’ business models that tie in economic and environmental returns for eventual trial in future.

The project approach will aim to benefit 40 training participants directly. The project anticipates indirectly benefiting stakeholders in private and public sectors involved in the development of blue economy.

The project is planned for 9 months. It will contribute to the development of the Marine Spatial Planning document for better management of marine/coastal biodiversity and is aligned with the key pillars of the Seychelles Blue Economy Roadmap being economic diversification & resilience, shared prosperity and integrity of habitats and ecosystem series. Furthermore, the educational, research and stakeholder engagement elements within the project complement SeyCCAT’s primary objectives of seeking to understand how Seychelles can diversify the economy, create high value jobs, ensure food security, and sustainably manage and protect the marine environment.

SeyCCAT funds:  SCR 596,838.30

Co-financing:  SCR 112 000

Duration: February 2019 – October 2019

Project Application Form:  (will be made available soon)

Completed SeyCCAT projects

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