A new tuna fishing quay is to be built in the Seychelles, with funds from the EU FPA. At the signing of the contract the Seychelles minister for natural resources and industry said that such investment in a sector which ‘is one of the main pillars and revenue earners of the Seychelles economy’ was necessary because of the stiff competition it faces from neighbouring countries.
Part of the plan is to build the quay and allocate plots of land for businesses and services related to fisheries. The new infrastructures will serve as a logistics base for the industrial tuna purse-seiner fleet to land their catches, as well as for loading and unloading fishing nets and salt. In the future, the quay will be used for trans-shipments as well. The minister stressed that, at a time when countries of the region are promoting their ports, it was important to undertake such an initiative so that Seychelles ‘maintains its position as the main tuna landing/trans-shipment port in the Indian Ocean’. The economy will benefit from new revenues and jobs brought in by the purse-seiners, including port dues, pilot fees, loading/unloading of ships, etc.
The minister thanked the EU for funding the project, through the financial contribution it gives under the FPA. On the Seychelles side, building of the quay is a joint project between the Seychelles Ports Authority (SPA) and the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA).
Such a development is also coherent with EU–Seychelles development cooperation objectives. In the Seychelles Country Strategy paper and National Indicative Programme for the period 2008-2013, it is noted that steps should be taken to make Port Victoria a modern regional trans-shipment hub, and expand the fishing port and industrial fishery activities.
Increasingly, there is a will to ensure that the financial contribution made under an FPA leads to tangible benefits in the ACP country concerned, and is targeted on well identified and viable initiatives and projects. It is important to ensure, as is the case for the investment in Seychelles infrastructure, that such projects are coherent with priorities expressed in the jointly agreed country strategy paper and indicative programme. However, it will be equally important for ACP countries to develop a regional strategy for such initiatives: building or improving port infrastructures, including for increasing foreign fleets landings, is a priority for most ACP countries, but it should be done in a way that ensures the economic viability of all these projects, which may require a specialisation of activities by country, to be discussed and agreed at regional level. EU support may be needed to develop such a regional dialogue.