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Study Finds, Seychelles the healthiest marine environment amongst full sovereign countries of the world

01.11.2013

A year ago, a team of nearly 50 scientists from many disciplines published the first edition of the Ocean Health Index, an indicator that is designed to track the health of the world’s oceans and how people benefit from and affect marine ecosystems. The Ocean Health Index project was founded by a number of well-known organizations such as Conservation International, National Geographic Society, New England Aquarium, the US National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis and the Sea Around US project.

The Index is calculated annually for over 220 marine areas of the world, obtained after analyzing in each case indicators that assess the ability of the environment to provide, amongst other benefits, for artisanal fishing opportunities, biodiversity, food provision, coastal livelihoods and economies, and tourism and recreation.  A goal score of 100 means that the evaluated system reached its defined target, sustainably delivering all of the benefits that it can now and in the near future.  A low goal score means that the maximum benefit is not being obtained, or is not being obtained in a sustainable way

The most recent set of indicators, for 2013, was published last week, and Seychelles, with a combined score of 77, is ranked 12th amongst 221 countries and territories. This is a remarkable result that makes Seychelles the highest-ranked fully sovereign State in the list, as the first 11 are island territories or overseas dependencies.

This result demonstrates the value and uniqueness of our environmental legacy and it highlights the importance of the Blue Economy for our nation, a concept that Seychelles has championed in international forums to bring into focus the special links between small island developing States and the oceans.

The Index also highlights areas for further improvement, and Seychelles has been already taking steps in the right direction, such as the modernization of its fisheries legislation, near its completion, a strong presence in regional fisheries management, and the reinforcement of the mission of the Seychelles Fishing Authority in support of the fisheries sector.

Understanding the wealth that our marine environment can produce sustainably, and enabling policies to realize those benefits is a key step for ensuring that future generations can also enjoy the benefits of our Blue Economy.  The high-ranking of Seychelles environment helps us to renew our commitment to continue on this road.

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