The “Fédération des Pêcheurs Artisan de L’Ocean Indien (FPAOI) was launched on the 8th October in Seychelles in presence of the Hon. Minister of Fisheries Mr Wallace Cosgrow and the “chargée de mission” Mr L.M.H Razaka representing the General Secretary of the IOC.
Over the last two years a pre-configuration committee has been working with support from SmartFish for the launch of this new Federation for artisanal fishers. As observed by Mr Rasaka, there was a gap in the region for such a platform to cater for the needs of the artisanal fishers. He also noted that small scale fishers is facing various challenges namely declining catches and the need for capacity building to enable them have their say in policy decisions. Minister Wallace Cosgrow pointed out that the federation would enable fishers to network amongst themselves and get organised to defend their interest in the region.
The main objectives of the FPAOI for the coming years relates to capacity building to enable leaders of the federation participate in the decision making process, assist in defending its members and advocacy. The new president of the Federation Mr Keith André of the Seychelles pointed out the immediate focus i.e. registration of the Federation which will be based in Reunion Island, seeking partnerships for various activities and ensure sustainability of funding for the federation. Mr Gaoussou Gueye Secretary General of the CAOPA, Mr Mitchell Lay (CNFO) and Mr Vincent Fautrel from the CTA shared their experiences with all participants at the meeting.