The fisheries sector is divided into two distinct
traditional fishing by a domestic fleet of some 400
industrial tuna fishing by foreign vessels, which began to
develop in the mid-1970s and has emerged as a major
source. The domestic inshore fleet consists mainly of open
equipped with inboard or outboard engines, operating
radius of sixteen to forty-eight kilometers of the main
Domestic offshore operations on banks surrounding the Mahé
and the Amirantes Isles are conducted by handlines from
boats with sleeping quarters. Most of the catch is frozen.
fish division of SMB bought and distributed fish landed on
three main islands to avoid serious price fluctuations. An
trade in the local catch developed after the opening of
international airport made possible deliveries to Europe
Local consumption of fish traditionally has been high,
has been estimated at eighty-five kilograms per capita
in the early 1990s. The local catch is also an important
item at the tourist hotels. The domestic fisheries catch
5,734 tons in 1992, about 10 percent of which was
by a new industrial fishing venture, the Pêcheur
Beyond 100 kilometers from the Seychelles coasts,
conducted by some fifty-five French and Spanish purse
based at Victoria. (The Spanish vessels briefly shifted
base to Mombasa in 1992 but returned when the Seychelles
government reduced its port charges.) Some 160,000 tons of
were transshipped through Victoria in 1992, of which
were reported by the vessels' owners to have been fished
Seychelles' EEZ. The Seychelles authorities had no way of
verifying these claims.
In 1991 Seychelles, Mauritius, and Madagascar formed
Fishing Association to promote their interests. In
series of three-year agreements granted European Community
(EC-- see Glossary)
vessels the right to fish in the Seychelles
The fourth such agreement, signed in early 1993, was
generate US$13.5 million annually. The islands' economy
benefit from the resulting business activity at Victoria
form of port services, stevedoring, and ship chandling.
Seychelles government had leased one purse seiner to
directly from the tuna industry, and is building ten
the project has encountered financial difficulties.
In 1992 the Seychelles Fishing Authority issued 292
to long-lines fishing vessels mainly from Taiwan and the
of Korea (South Korea). These vessels make few calls at
offloading their catches onto motherships in mid-ocean.
Seychelles is unable to carry out naval and air
possible illegal fishing, especially in more remote parts
EEZ. There is a strong presumption, however, that
use is being made of its fishing grounds.
The tuna canning plant opened in 1987, with 70 percent
capital of Seychelles origin and 30 percent invested by a
cooperative; the plant is designed to process 8,000 to
tons of fish a year. It employs 425 people, mostly women,
brought a rapid growth of export earnings, reaching
million by 1991. The net gain in balance of payments was
because the operation required some imports, notably the
which could not be produced domestically.
Data as of August 1994