The artisanal fishery of the Seychelles is characterized by a wide variety of boats using different gears and catching various species within the Seychelles EEZ. Traditional wooden pirogues targeted the shallow inshore fishing grounds until the 1950s, when traditional whalers powered by sails were introduced. The whalers extended fishing areas to the more productive bank fishing ground of the Mahé Plateau and by the mid 1960 were able to operate further around the periphery of the Mahé Plateau due to introduction of inboard engines on these vessel. In the 1970s larger vessels powered by 4-cylinder engines joined the fishery starting the schooner fishery. The Schooners targeted distant fishing grounds including the southern atoll groups. In the early 1980s,   fibre-glass vessels, the mini-Mahe, join the fishery targeting inshore reef and plateau grounds with 15 nm of the main granitic islands.

More than 400 vessels are currently active in the artisanal fishery whereby 75% of the fleet are outboard vessels and 20% are whalers. The principal gears used by whalers and schooners are handlines, while the small boats uses a multitude of gear combinations, including handlines, traps, encircling gill nets, beach seines and harpoons. 

All the artisanal fishing vessels target demersal resources such as Lutjanids (snappers), serranids (groupers), lethrinids (capitaines), Scombridae (notably the Indian mackerel), Siganidae (rabbitfish), Lethrinidae (emperors), Sphyraenidae (barracuda)and carangidaes (carangues) .The catches supplies the local market demand including hotels and restaurants and some species such as groupers and snappers are designated for the export market.