Following 5 years of comprehensive research, specialist studies and high-resolution planning, Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) and Advance Africa have embarked upon the Seychelles Aquaculture Implementation Programme.
Development guidelines and a sound regulatory environment, based on the FAO Ecosystems Approach to Aquaculture, are the foundations of the comprehensive Seychelles Mariculture Master Plan (MMP). Seychelles is now at the pivotal point of establishing a sustainable aquaculture industry, with investment in the sector ready to be harnessed.
The programme features spatial planning, infrastructure development, ongoing global market surveys and assessments, acquisition of investment and funding, and the securing of technical partners for research & development (R&D). The Environmental & Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) was conducted by Golder Associates during 2016 and included a fully-inclusive Public Participation Process (PPP).
A strategic project, the Broodstock Acclimation and Quaratine Facility (BAQF), has been designed with the purpose of receiving, holding and acclimating wild-caught broodstock of the candidate species. The facility ensures all broodstock are disease- and pathogen-free and primed for controlled breeding and production, such that a consistent source of fingerlings is available for grow-out operations.
The R&D Facility will run numerous scientific research programmes including closing production cycles of high potential indigenous species. The R&D Facility will facilitate the training and development of human resources for the future industry.
Pilot Projects form a strategic link between research and development and future commercial investors. Pilot Projects aim to prove the business case of growing various species. Specifically, a sea urchin and mud crab project will be implemented during 2019.
Important capacity building, particularly with regards to human resourcing is underway and will be further prioritized. Additionally, an education and awareness programme has begun for local Seychellois to understand and be sensitized to what aquaculture entails.
The future potential of Seychelles aquaculture is exciting. This new sector will contribute to the sustainable growth and economic diversification within the country.