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Seychelles’ FiTI 2021 report points to need for greater information access

There is a great need to make available information in Seychelles' fisheries industry more accessible and transfer it to the public in layman's terms, which will allow the information to be used in managing fisheries efficiently and sustainably, according to a new report.

This was outlined in the Seychelles 2021 Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI) report and shared in a national fisheries transparency workshop focusing on Seychelles organised by the Ministry of Fisheries and Blue Economy, the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI), and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Madagascar.

The event, which provided a platform to present the findings of the 2021 report, was broken down into two sessions to target the large-scale and small-scale fisheries of the country.

The report compiler, Daniella Larue, shared that in Seychelles' 2021 FiTI report, a total of 17 recommendations were made, touching all areas of fisheries.

"There is a recommendation dealing with fisheries resources. The website of SFA (Seychelles Fisheries Authority) is wonderful and full of reports produced between 2017 to 2021, but they are quite technical and scientific. One of the recommendations is to make the information more accessible," said Larue.

"Another deals with economic contributions, dealing more specifically with the number of people who work in the industry. We know this information in tourism, but we do not know the numbers for fisheries. We always say that the fisheries sector contributes a lot economically, but we do not know how many people work in the sector. It is important for us to know and this was a recommendation," she added.

Larue said that despite the amount of work that still remains to be carried out, there has been an improvement in the amount and quality of information published on the sector with some information being more up-to-date.

The chairperson of Seychelles' FiTI National Multi-Stakeholder Group, Philippe Michaud, said, "It is important to have transparency but we also need to see what to do with the information. With the system that we have we can help to better manage our stock and for better redistribution of benefits coming from the industry."

Fatime Kante, an economist in the Blue Economy department, said that Seychelles has made undeniable progress in improving transparency around its fisheries sector through the implementation of the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI).

"This has translated into vast amounts of information now being available on government websites. Yet, the impact of transparency does not lie in the act of publishing information alone. It relies on how this information is used to contribute to managing fisheries efficiently and sustainably," said Kante.

While Seychelles has demonstrated significant progress in implementing the FiTI's transparency requirements, there is a need to ensure that the information that is now publicly available contributes to sustainable policy-making, effective oversight, accountability, and public debates.

This was determined after the completion of the Seychelles validation process carried out by the FiTI International Board.

The participants in the session looked at how such transparency efforts can support national reform priorities for Seychelles' fisheries, and understand participatory mechanisms in that sector.

Source: Seychelles News Agency