Aquaculture is defined as " the cultivation, propagation or farming at sea or on land of fish from eggs, spawn, spat, fingerling or seed; and includes the rearing and ranching of fish taken from the wild or imported into Seychelles ". Aquaculture implies some form of intervention in the rearing process to enhance production, such as regular stocking, feeding and protection from predators.

Prawn Farm.

Seychelles has a relatively long history of prawn farming, which was established on Coetivy Island in 1989 by the Islands Development Company Ltd and the Seychelles Marketing Board and later taken over and managed by the latter. The main species farmed was the black tiger prawn.

 Pearl farming.

On the other hand, Pearl (oyster) farming in Seychelles was started in 1995 and continues on Praslin in the Curieuse Marine National Park to this day. Black lipped oyster and the winged Oyster are produced. Round pearls are mainly produced through Black lipped Oyster, while half pearls are produced by winged oyster. Harvesting occurs two years after implantation and the size of the round pearls vary from 8 to 12mm.

There is a need to meet national socio-economic and food security objectives, particularly in view of the vulnerability of the fisheries and tourism sectors. With declining trends in capture fisheries worldwide and locally, aquaculture is seen as one of the potential activities that could keep up with the rapid increase in fish demand. Seychelles has the environment, the species and the basic infrastructure, services and some of the raw material to develop a sizeable aquaculture industry. As a consequence the government decided to develop the " Seychelles Mariculture Master Plan " which will ensure;

  • the orderly and environmentally sustainable development of the sector;
  • the efficient use of the country's resources;
  • that the legislative and regulatory framework, support services and human capacity needs are developed harmoniously; and
  • that the development of the sector leads to positive social and economic benefits, while adverse effects are either negated or minimized.

The goal of the Aquaculture sector is to create a sustainable sector that is integrated into the country's economic planning vision, coastal zone and off-shore management strategies and that is environmentally responsible and sustainable.

The overall objectives of the Aquaculture Division are, but not restricted to:

  1. Increasing the recognition and understanding of the benefits of mariculture in the country;
  2. Developing the human resources to develop, manage, monitor and provide scientific and technical support to the industry;
  3. Understanding and defining demand and supply projections;
  4. Providing an enabling legislative and investment environment for mariculture development;
  5. Promoting aquaculture as an important supplementary source of fish on the domestic market;
  6. Providing a roadmap to establish mariculture as an export industry;
  7. Developing an aquaculture sector that is compatible with responsible stewardship of the coastal and off-shore environment and resources.

The Aquaculture Division is currently being created within the SFA to support the sector as it grows.