The archipelagic state of Seychelles is eyeing to develop local expertise in the area of recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) to boost aquaculture production.
Recently, the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) had sent six Seychellois aquaculture technicians and six potential investors to Cyprus for a training course on land-based RAS. The program, which kicked off in February will run until the end of May this year, according to a report from the Seychelles News Agency. The program is also aimed at building a local aquaculture labour force to reduce Seychelles’ reliance on foreign workers in the industry.
According to Aubrey Lesperance, head of SFA’s aquaculture department, the local industry aims to produce 60,000 tons of fish per year with an estimated value of US$400 million by 2040.
“The HCDP [Human Capital Development Plan] reports indicate that in order to achieve such numbers, the industry will have to have over 1,800 direct staff. These will be at various levels, with varying qualifications,” Lesperance said.
The training sessions are being held at a farm called Kimagro, in Limassol, Cyprus. The training will be free. However, associated costs is covered by the SWIOFish3 program, a long-term regional program of the World Bank for sustainable marine fisheries.
The government of Seychelles is working to diversify the country’s economy by developing a blue economy strategy. The strategy focuses on several important spheres including: the marine environment; fisheries and aquaculture.
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