Nature Seychelles Chief Executive Dr. Nirmal Jivan Shah has congratulated the Praslin fishermen in particular the Praslin Fishers Association (PFA) for the finalization of the Praslin coastal fishery plan. This was in reaction to a Seychelles News Agency news alert. The plan is now awaiting approval by the Cabinet of Ministers before it can be implemented according to the Seychelles News Agency
Nature Seychelles is a member of the Praslin Fisheries Co-Management Coordinating Committee (PFCCC) chaired by the PFA and has been supporting this initiative because as Shah says “it’s the first real co-management process for any natural resource in Seychelles.”
The PFCCC brought together Praslin fishers, the SFA and some key stakeholders like Nature Seychelles to enable the co-management process to be successful and for the eventual roll out of the plan. “Whilst the plan is very important for sustainable fisheries, the process underpinning it is as vital for all other sectors because it is a disruption of the business-as-usual model which is government making the decisions and leading the implementation” says Shah.
Shah also highlights the innovative vision of the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) which took on board this new approach and whose technicians and scientists worked very hard to make the process and plan a success. Shah notes that this is the right way to achieve effective management of other parts of the natural environment and he points out the need for transparency when co-management or management outsourcing of natural resources is to be undertaken. Co-management of fisheries resources will be legalized when the new Fisheries Bill which contains this provision is approved by the National Assembly, according to SFA sources.
Shah speculates that the Praslin fishery co-management plan process is an example of what could be the norm in all sectors to achieve President James Michel’s recent call for national unity. The process and plan were funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Government of Seychelles and Global Environment Fund (GEF) project.