The industrial fishery, which is composed of foreign owned licensed vessels, including Seychelles registered vessels, falls under two main categories namely the purse seine fishery (i.e. mainly French and Spanish vessels) and the long line fishery (i.e. mainly Taiwanese vessels). 

The industrial fisheries comprise of all foreign purse seiners and longliners that are licensed to operate in the Seychelles Exclusive Economic Zone or vessels that are registered to operate under the Seychelles flag. The Seychelles Flag vessels are fishing vessels registered in Seychelles and authorised to fish solely in the Indian Ocean.

  • Purse seine Fishery

Tuna purse seiners started operation in Seychelles EEZ in the Indian Ocean since the early 1980s. Purse seining activities in the Seychelles EEZ began in 1983 when French and Spanish fleets moved from the tropical Atlantic to the Western Indian Ocean. The main fishing nation involve in purse seining in the WIO are those operating under the Europe Economic Community Agreement (French and Spanish). Seychelles registered purse seiners (French and Spanish origin) started fishing in 1991

Traditionally, purse seiners fished over free swimming schools until the 1990s where changes were introduced to the fishing strategy of purse-seiners, with the extensive use of floating objects such as FADs. The composition of species and size resulting from this type of fishing varies considerably in comparison to traditional fishing over free schools, since skipjack is the main catch and there is a higher rate of smaller yellowfin and bigeye. The purse seine tuna fishery targets mostly surface swimming yellowfin and skipjack. 

In view of Port Victoria’s strategic position in the middle of the tuna fishing grounds, Port Victoria has become the most important tuna transshipment port in the Indian Ocean. Over 90% of catches of purse seiners’ licensed to fish inside the Seychelles EEZ are unloaded in Port Victoria every year. 

  • Industrial Longline Fishery

Industrial fishing activities began in the Seychelles waters in the early 1950’s with the Distant Water Fishing Nations (DWFN) longlining for tuna in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO). This was initiated by the Japanese (1954) and soon followed by the Taiwanese (1957) and the Koreans (1960). Longliners from European Union countries (Britain, France and Spain) applied for licenses to fish in the Seychelles Exclusive Economic Zone in 1993. Starting in the 1980s and increasing in the 1990s many coastal states, in all oceans, started new tuna fisheries by chartering Flag of Convenience (FOC) boats. Seychelles registered vessels (Taiwanese origin) started operating in 1999. Presently Taiwan Province of China and Seychelles registered fleet are the primary industrial fleets licensed to operate in the Seychelles Waters.

The longline gear used by the industrial longliners consists of three basic components: the mainline, the branch line, and the baited hook. All of these parts are adaptable for targeting specific species through changes in materials, lengths, and deployment strategies. Using small buoys and float lines to suspend the gear below the surface results in a pelagic longline set that targets pelagic tunas, swordfish, billfish and other free‐swimming predators. The gear is very effective at capturing large pelagic fishes, such as bigeye (Thunnus obesus), yellowfin (Thunnus albacares), and albacore (Thunnus alalunga), broadbill swordfish (Xiphias gladius), and other billfishes.