Seychelles strengthens maritime security cooperation with New Zealand and deepens cooperation ahead of SIDS meeting in Samoa
Minister Jean-Paul Adam accompanied President James Alix Michel on a working visit to New Zealand on the invitation of Governor General of New Zealand, His Excellency Lieutenant General Sir Jerry Mateparae, ahead of attending the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States to be held in Samoa.
The Seychelles delegation was given a tour of the Maritime Police Unit as Seychelles looks to develop a similar civilian unit independent of the Seychelles Defence Forces. The New Zealand Coastal Police engage in a large spectrum of activities such as search and rescue, counter-terrorism and cooperate with other government law enforcement agencies when required. Police officers in New Zealand are all honourable fisheries officers and as such have the authority to board and search cargo on ships. Seychelles also welcomes the arrival of P3 Orion military Aircraft from New Zealand as the country seeks to support Seychelles in patrolling its maritime space and the delegation was given the chance to participate in a simulated patrol mission aboard the aircraft.
The P3 Orion will be deployed as part of the global maritime security operation under the Combined Maritime Force (CMF) but will also work bilaterally with Seychelles on EEZ surveillance and patrol.
The visit has also been the opportunity for the two countries to underline the importance of maritime security for a successful Blue Economy.
A presentation on the ‘Blue Economy’ and fisheries management was given at the Ministry of Primary Industries. Seychelles was keen to learn of New Zealand’s experience in sustainable management of the ocean and the protection of various fish stocks. Seychelles would solicit New Zealand’s help in the establishment of a science based research and fisheries management system, which could protect vulnerable species of fish. Minister Adam expressed his desire to move to a science based arrangement that could protect fish stocks and also help develop the local industry.
Like Seychelles, New Zealand has an extensive sovereign maritime space. “New Zealand has been efficient in policing its exclusive economic zone and has successfully enforced their fisheries management system and Seychelles looks to learn from the New Zealand experience” stated the Minister.
Minister Adam also held talks with his counterpart, His Excellency Murray McCully, Minister for foreign Affairs and Sport, which sought to boost existing bilateral relations and explore further avenues of cooperation. Minister McCully accompanied Minister Adam to the Millennium Institute for Sport and Health, which is a centre for sporting excellence that targets and invests in youth by identifying talent at a young age. Seychelles strongly believes in youth empowerment and this centre serves as a good example of the positive effects that sports can have.
“Seychelles and New Zealand look to the sea from both a historic and financial sense. The two countries are likeminded island nations that are vast oceanic territories. We need to share our experiences and raise awareness for the concept of the ‘Blue Economy,’ which permeates our society. We also need to protect this shared space and we are moving determinedly with New Zealand to improve our capacity to do so” said Minister Adam.
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