29 September 2017: The World Bank approved over US$20 million to improve fisheries and marine resources management in the Seychelles. The financing, which includes support for the world’s first ‘Blue Bond,’ will strengthen value chains and ready the country’s fisheries sector for investment.
The project is the first World Bank project in Seychelles in over 30 years and is part of the third phase of the South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Governance and Shared Growth Program (SWIOFish), which aims to increase the environmental, economic and social benefits from sustainable fisheries. The project will: expand sustainable use marine protected areas (MPAs); improve governance of priority fisheries; review and update the fisheries institutional framework; and sustainably develop the blue economy to finance the sector’s sustainable development. To improve fisheries governance, the project will develop a fisheries information management system and train government statisticians in marine environment statistics. To improve fisheries value chains, the project will provide support to increase value addition in the artisanal fishing and processing sectors as well as in the aquaculture, industrial and semi-industrial sectors.
Seychelles Vice-President Vincent Meriton explained that his country has adopted a marine conservation strategy that commits to protect 30% of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) by 2020, including through marine spatial planning exercises, and has implemented a fisheries management plan to transition the Mahé Plateau from an open-access fishery to a more controlled fishery. He underscored the role of SWIOFish 3 in supporting the Seychelles to achieve these goals and “preserve our comparative advantage in natural capital for future generations.”
The Seychelles’ Blue Economy Strategy aims to sustainably manage the country’s marine resources, ensure food security, diversify the economy and create high-value jobs.
The Blue Bond is expected to mobilize public and private investments to finance the Seychelles sustainable fisheries transition and contribute to achieving the country’s Blue Economy Strategy. The Strategy aims to sustainably manage and protect the Seychelles’ marine resources, ensure food security, diversify the economy and create high-value jobs. The Blue Bond financing includes EUR 5 million from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and a credit of US$5 million from the Global Environment Facility’s Non-Grant Instrument Pilot.
The Sustainable Development Goal on life below water (SDG 14) calls for the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. [World Bank Press Release] [SWIOFish 3 Webpage]