News / Africa

Seychelles Official Warns of Threats to Country’s Tuna Industry

Seychelles officials say piracy and illegal fishing are harming exports

Seychelles Official Warns of Threats to Country’s Tuna Industry
Seychelles Official Warns of Threats to Country’s Tuna Industry

Multimedia

Audio
Reuben Kyama

 

 

The government of Seychelles says it’s working with international partners to protect its tuna industry from piracy.
 
Fish exports bring in hundreds of millions of dollars every year.    

“Piracy is a serious threat to tuna fisheries management,” said Joel Morgan, Seychelles minister of environment, natural resources and transport.  He was speaking at an international conference on tuna fishing held earlier this month in the capital, Victoria, attended by more than 150 scientists, environmentalists and officials from government and industry.  

The country’s revenues have dropped by 30% over the past year due to attacks from pirates based in Somalia, he told reporters.

 “[It] creates instability and a lack of a structured framework within which we can operate to ensure the fisheries are properly managed.”
    
The press quotes the pirates as saying that international fishing vessels, including some belonging to Seychelles, illegally fish in Somali waters, a charge Morgan denies.

Furthermore, he said, it is “not at all correct for the pirates to venture 800 nautical miles from the coast of Somalia and come and attack our fishing vessels in our [waters because they say we] are plundering their waters.” 

Morgan urged a regional and international approach to the problem.

Canned fish being packed for exportation at the Indian Ocean tuna processing plant in Seychelles
Canned fish being packed for exportation at the Indian Ocean tuna processing plant in Seychelles

He said his government is working with the European Union, the United States, India and other partners to patrol its waters.
    
“We are increasing the level of aerial surveillance of the area with assistance from our partners,” he said, “but ultimately we must find a political solution to the situation in Somalia.  The long-term answer lies with finding stability in Somalia itself.”

Piracy is not the only factor contributing to a drop in tuna harvests.  Others discussed at the conference were climate change, overfishing and illegal fishing.

Bluefin tuna stocks have plummeted by15 percent, driven in part by a demand for sushi and by more efficient fishing trawlers.  Environmentalists say the overfishing of the species is so severe that the UN mechanism that regulates international trade in wildlife, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) may ban the trade of the bluefin until stocks can recover.

Seychelles workers process and package tuna in the capital, Victoria
Seychelles workers process and package tuna in the capital, Victoria

David Ardill, special advisor to the president of Seychelles, urged member states of the regional body, the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), to improve the monitoring of trawlers, including those from Indonesia and Taiwan.  The commission estimates that illegal or unregulated fishing vessels take up to 10 percent of the region’s total catch.

The Seychelles, Mauritius, Kenyan, Tanzania, Madagascar, Mozambique and other Indian Ocean countries account for nearly 20% of the global annual catch, more than a million tons.  Conference participants called on the IOTC to enact improved conservation measures over the next year.  

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid