Seychelles launches report to Fisheries Transparency Initiative

FarFish Case Study partner Seychelles has launched its first report to the Fisheries Transparency Initiative, making it the first country in the world to do so. 

The Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI) is a global multi-stakeholder partnership that defines for the first time the information that national authorities must publish on the marine fisheries sector. By making fisheries management more transparent and inclusive, the FiTI promotes informed public debates on fisheries policies and supports the long-term contribution of the sector to national economies and the well-being of citizens and businesses that depend on a healthy marine environment.

The FiTI report represents a major milestone towards Seychelles’ efforts to ensure environmentally sustainable, economically viable and socially equitable fisheries.

While there are many aspects to achieve sustainable fisheries, the public availability of credible information is critical. 

According the document, the purpose of this report is threefold:

  • To summarize key status information on Seychelles’ fisheries sector to increase public understanding and appreciation of Seychelles’ fisheries sector;
  • To assess Seychelles’ level of compliance against the 12 transparency requirements of the FiTI Standard
  • To provide recommendations to Seychelles’ national authorities on how the publication of information in the public domain, e.g. on government websites, can be further improved.

The report makes known a range of previously unpublished information on various topics, including foreign fishing access agreements, stock information, payment and catch data from large- and small-scale fishing vessels, as well as fishing subsidies. 

Philippe Michaud,  Chair of the FiTI National Multi-Stakeholder Group Seychelles and representative of the Ministry of Fisheries and the Blue Economy states of the report

“I am … convinced this report will be a milestone in our country’s efforts towards a prosperous, well-managed and socially equitable fisheries sector. It is expected that important changes will result from this report. In fact, some have already started since the exercise was initiated. Most notably, some foreign fishing access agreements, fisheries research studies, licensing data etc. have now been published and can be accessed without any restrictions or costs. The changes that are coming will be necessary as they will identify how to create streamlined operating procedures that will prevent duplication, maximize use of resources and promote the inclusiveness of all partners into the process.”

Of interest to the FarFish project is the section of this report relating to transparency of Fishing Access agreements. The report states

“The only available information relating to agreements signed by Seychelles are the agreements between Seychelles’ and the EU and between Seychelles and Mayotte, which have both been published along with their relevant protocols on the website of the European Commission. There were also two oversight reports on the implementation of the sectoral support provided to Seychelles as part of the EU agreement. These were prepared by SFA but have not been published.”

There appears to be no written agreement (i.e. contract) between Seychelles and Dongwon Industries Co. Ltd.  

Furthermore, the report suggests that confidentiality clauses that would restrict the publication of future agreements and protocols should be avoided.”

Congratulations to Seychelles for the effort and initiative it has taken to achieve this important milestone.