The host of for this year’s World Fishery Day commemoration for the African artisanal fishery communities said that the celebration made Seychellois artisanal fishery community visible to their African counterparts, and also the world.
By George Harris
The Federation of Artisanal Fishers of the Indian Ocean (FPAOI), Chairman, Keith Andre said: “This had made us [community]visible to some of our African counterparts, governments and NGOs that never knew us before the celebration.”
Andre added that the recently ended celebration showed that the artisanal fishery community of Seychelles is able to contribute to the country’s fishery sector, as he called on authorities to resolve issues that are affecting artisanal fishery communities.
“Having hosted such an event, I think it showed to our authorities that we are able as a group to contribute constructively to the development of the sector. Moreover, the event celebrated had made the public and authority more aware of our agenda that we have been pushing forth for many years and having seen others of similar issues like us, we are now urging governments on the continent and international bodies to address issues that are affecting the lives of thousands of artisanal fishers on the continent,” said Keith.
Keith further noted that partnership with the African Confederation of Artisanal Fisheries Professional Organizations (CAOPA) would take Seychelles artisanal fishery community aspiration higher.
In another statement, the Fishermen and Boat Owners Association’s Treasurer, Beatty Hoarau said that Africa’s artisanal fishery communities have common challenges that are impeding the sector growth on the continent but noted that networking with their African counterparts would lead to a cohesive fishery environment on the continent.
“What we found out over that the past days is that we have a lot of common difficulties, even if the fishery is in West African or the Indian Ocean Islands. In these common difficulties, funding is the first common challenge to us; there is no access to funding, where you do have access it is expensive. In Seychelles, we face the same issue when it comes to funding from private commercials banks; we do rely on government funding to help in promoting or improving activities in our artisanal sector,” said Hoarau.
“Also hosting other African artisanal community for the World Fishery Day celebration was important to us because it helped us to get to one another and created a network which in the near future will help us share our challenges but also it [network]will help us to have that one voice across the continent,” said Hoarau.
African artisanal fishery communities celebrated this year World Fishery Day in Providance, Mahe, Seychelles. The celebration brought together artisanal fishery communities from across the continent to discuss their common problems, challenges but to also rethink ways to solving their common problems.
Access right to resources for artisanal fishery community, FAO Voluntary Guidelines Implementation, access to better market, gender equity, were among topics discussed during the three days commemoration of the world Fishery Day in Providance, Mahe,Seychelles.
The world fishermen day is an annual event that highlights the importance of artisanal fisheries at the social, economic, cultural and food security, level in many parts of the world. It helps to highlight the bonds of solidarity that have been established between the various artisanal fishermen’s organizations throughout the world.