As part of the many activities organised to celebrate the first ever Ocean Festival, a business forum was coordinated by the Department of the Blue Economy in partnership with the Seychelles Investment Board (SIB) and the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA).
The forum was held at the Seychelles Trading Company’s (STC) conference room under the theme; “Sustainable Fishing.” The event was officially opened by Vice President Vincent Meriton in the presence of The Minister for Fisheries and Agriculture, Mr. Michael Benstrong, Principal Secretary of the President’s Office, Mr. Alain Volcere, the Chairman of SFA and Mr. Philippe Michaud along with other officials from SIB and SFA.
During his keynote address, Vice President Meriton stated that we should invest our time in the Blue economy as Seychelles is a large ocean state. “Our ocean is more than front seas that surround us; we must develop our ocean in a sustainable manner so that everyone will be able to benefit. It is vital that we make such industry the number one pillar of the economy,’ added the Vice President.
“The sustainable development of small island states like Seychelles is intrinsically related to the sustainable use of oceans. Generations after generations of islanders have depended on the coast and marine environment for basic resources to sustain livelihood on island. This is why the Government of Seychelles is advocating the Blue Economy approach for a sustaining economic growth and also a long-term survival as a viable state,’ he said.
Consequently, Vice President Meriton pointed out that next year; there will be a National Blue Economy Day which will be commemorated annually on July 17.
During the seminar, there were also presentations of projects as well as success stories by the following stakeholders:
- Blue Economy Environmental Education Programme Seychelles (BEEEPS)
- Fishermen’s Boat Owners Association (FBOA)
- Ile du Port Handling Services (IPHS)
- Bel Ombre Fishing Association
- Seychelles Mari culture Master Plan
- Nature Seychelles
- Third South West Indian Ocean Fisheries (SWIOFISH3)
- Allied Agencies
At the end of the seminar, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between SIB and FBOA.