ENORMOUS POTENTIAL FOR BLUE ECONOMY
President James Michel has said that Seychelles has enormous potential to develop its blue economy, following a visit this morning to the Seychelles Fishing Authority, the Victoria artisanal fishing port, the Providence artisanal fishing port as well as the construction project for the
120-metre quay of the industrial tuna fishing port at Ile du Port.
The President said that the visit was an opportunity to explore the potential for the expansion of the fisheries sector, which is the second pillar of the economy. The visit forms part of the first of a series of visits to work places the President will undertake this year.
“The blue economy will be crucial for our future. It has enormous potential. We need to ensure that we maximise the benefits from the resources of our ocean, rather than let them be exploited by large foreign companies. By developing projects such as the industrial tuna fishing port and the fish processing plants, we are empowering our Seychellois fishermen to have facilities to be able to process and export tuna fisheries, as well as value added products; so that more of our resources from marine life are beneficial for Seychellois,” said the President.
The President said that he was encouraged by the progress he had seen in the fisheries sector and also commended SFA for its work to monitor fisheries activity, illegal fisheries, and develop scientific research programmes, as well as building facilities that will benefit the fishing community.
“SFA is doing a good job with several important and ambitious projects. I congratulate them on their efforts and ask them to continue looking for additional funds for fisheries projects, to develop infrastructure and give new services to the fishing community. I also congratulate the fishermen of our country who are doing a marvellous job, a noble job, for their country. They are creating wealth, bringing food to our tables and continuing to build our maritime heritage. We need to ensure they have access to credit facilities in order to grow their businesses.”
President Michel met with several fishermen who were at the fishing ports and spoke to them about their challenges at sea, including piracy. They also spoke about the lack of new entrants into the fishing sector and the need for skilled seamen.
The President said that young people needed to be encouraged within the entire school system to take up a career in fisheries, as a valuable and important maritime career, and once they are trained they need to be encouraged to stay in this field and develop this important heritage for the country.
- The President was accompanied on the visit by the Minister for Home Affairs and Transport, Mr. Joel Morgan, the Minister of Natural Resources and Industry, Mr. Peter Sinon, the Secretary General in the Office of the President, Mrs. Lise Bastienne, as well as the members of the board and the management of the Seychelles Fishing Authority, the Seychelles Ports Authority, and senior officials from the Office of the President and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Industry.