Fisheries Tenure Arrangements

 

 

  

 Fisheries Tenure Arrangements

 

 

  

Recreational Fisheries

Definition

According to the Fisheries Act, recreational fishing refers to any fishing activity undertaken by a vessel under 10 metres in length for recreational rather than commercial purposes i.e. the fish caught are not traded or sold. This definition is being revised in the new fisheries bill to cover recreational fishing activities conducted on foot or from the shore.

Regulation of recreational fisheries in Seychelles

There have traditionally been few management regulations that specifically target recreational fishing in Seychelles. However, all regulations for controlling fishing activities as per Sub-part 6 of the Fisheries Act also applies to the recreational fisheries. The Mahé Plateau Trap and Line Fishery Co-management Plan  (hereafter referred to as ‘the MP Plan’) and supporting Fisheries (Mahé Plateau Trap and Line Fishery) Regulations, 2021, that came into force in January 2022, has resulted in greater regulation around the recreational fishery such as size limits and catch (bag) limits.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about recreational fishing in Seychelles

     Do I need a licence to go recreational fishing?

A licence is not required for recreational fishing. Paragraph 21 of the Fisheries Act exempt a vessel used for recreational fishing in Seychelles waters from the requirement of having a licence or permit unless otherwise prescribed.

     Are there any restrictions regarding fishing seasons or can I go fishing all year around?

Some fishing activities can be conducted all year round, such as handlining for demersal and or semi-pelagic and pelagic species, whilst some fishing activities are restricted.  For example the Fisheries (Mahé Plateau Trap and Line Fishery) Regulations, 2021, puts restrictions on fishing gears that can be used in certain areas during periods of the year.

This includes a ban on fishers (including recreational fisher) leaving fish traps overnight on listed spawning sites of Kordonnyen (rabbit fish) during their spawning season (September to April inclusive).

Similarly, for the three days prior to and three days after every full moon occurring during the Kordonnyen spawning season, all fishing vessels will be limited to using a maximum of 6 traps per day on listed Kordonnyen spawning sites. Note that a maximum of 2 traps applies for recreational fishing vessels.

     What fishing gear can I use when fishing recreationally?

The use of spearguns, explosives, poisons, and noxious substances is prohibited across all fisheries in Seychelles, including the recreational fishery. The Fisheries Act also bans the use of unauthorised fish aggregating devices. As [large] net fishing is a licensable activity, the use of large nets is not allowed as part of recreational fishing. The use of demersal trawl nets is also prohibited under the Fisheries Regulations (1987). The Fisheries (Mahé Plateau Trap and Line Fishery) Regulations, 2021 limits the number of fish traps to two per vessel for recreational fishers... Additionally, a minimum mesh size of 40mm for traps is applicable across all sub-sectors. 

    Are there limits on how many fish I can catch per day?

The Fisheries (Mahé Plateau Trap and Line Fishery) Regulations, 2021 introduced a catch limit of five Bourzwa (Emperor red snapper; Lutjanus sebae) per day and five Zob gris (Green jobfish; Aprion virescens) per day for recreational fishers. The Fisheries (Mahé Plateau Trap and Line Fishery) Regulations, further limit the maximum number of fish (of demersal species) any one recreational fisher can catch in one day to 20 fish per fisher, inclusive of five bourzwa and five zob gris.

     Are there any additional restrictions regarding targeted species?

Recreational fishers should not target species that are restricted such as lobsters, sea-cucumber and spanner crabs.  The Fisheries regulations (1987) restricts the collection of shells from Shell Reserves, except for those specified in the Third Schedule and prohibits the collection of triton conch shells (Charonia tritonis) (regulation 11), the catching and killing of Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) (regulation 12), Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) (regulation 13), and fishing for sharks using nets (regulation 16C).

Furthermore, the Fisheries (Mahé Plateau Trap and Line Fishery) Regulations requires all fishers (including recreational fishers) to return to the water any Bourzwa (Emperor red snapper) or Zob gris (Green jobfish) measuring less than 32 cm in (fork length) from the tip of the jaw/snout to the centre of the fork in the tail.

    Do I have to inform someone about my catches?

Yes. While there are no specific conditions concerning catch reporting for the recreational fishery, Article 7 (2) of the Fisheries Act makes it a requirement for anyone engaged in fishing and fishing-related activities to provide information regarding their activities (including catch, effort, fishing locations, landing, and transshipment) to the SFA when requested.

    Can I sell my catches?

No. Catches from the recreational fishery should not be used for any commercial activity resulting in trading, offering for sale or selling of fish.  It should be solely for personal consumption.

  

Sport Fisheries

Definition

According to the Fisheries Act, sport fishing is defined as any fishing activity undertaken for sport or recreation, which involves the hiring, chartering or leasing of a vessel (and its annexes) measuring no more than 40 metres in length but which does not result in the trading, offering for sale, or selling of the fish caught.

The Fisheries Act provides a separate definition for competitive sport fishing, though it is nearly identical to that of sport fishing. The only difference is that, in addition to possessing the above features of sport fishing, competitive sport fishing is undertaken for sport among competitors observing a prescribed set of rules.

Regulation of sport fishing in Seychelles

The sport fishery is regulated by the Fisheries Act. Certain sport fishing activities are also subject to regulations under the Mahé Plateau Trap and Line Fishery Co-management Plan ( ‘the MP Plan’), which came into effect in January 2022. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about sport fishing in Seychelles

     What is the difference between recreational fishing and sport fishing?

The main differences between recreational fishing and sport fishing, as described in the Fisheries Act, relate to the size of the vessel involved (less than 10m for recreational fishing, not more than 40m for sport fishing) and that sport fishing can only be conducted by vessels which have been hired, chartered, or leased.

More clarification on the specific differences will be addressed in a legislative review currently being undertaken.

    Do I need a licence to go sport fishing?

Yes. A sport fishing vessel permit must be requested from the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA).

    How much does such a sport fishing licence cost?

The license fees for sport fishing vessels are paid in the form of hire craft (HC) licences. The Control of Hire Craft Act defines a Hire Craft as “a boat let out for hire for fishing as a sport or for pleasure purposes only”, therefore implying that payment of the licence gives hire craft the right to fish.

Currently, the Seychelles Maritime Safety Authority (SMSA) issue HC permits that is inclusive of fishing. However, the SFA is doing the needful to ensure that all fishing permits are issued by SFA.

The current licence fees themselves vary, depending on the length of the vessel in question, and need to be paid to the Seychelles Licensing Authority as per the schedule fees of the Licences Act (2010). These fees are detailed in Section 1 (v) of the Act.

 

  1 year

  3 years

  3m or less

  SCR 500

  SCR 1,410

  3m-6m

  SCR 1,500

  SCR 4,230

  6m-9m

  SCR 4,000

  SCR 11,280

  9m-12m

  SCR 6,000

  SCR 16,920

  12-20m

  SCR 8,000

  SCR 22,560

  Over 20m

  SCR 10,000

  SCR 28,200

 

The above fees double in cases where the person applying for the sport fishing vessel permit is not Seychellois.

At present the SFA is not charging these fees and sports vessels are not required to seek permission to fish. The SFA states that they are working on a licensing framework  for the sport and recreational fishery.

     How long is a licence valid for?

The validity of a sport fishing vessel permit ranges from between one and three years, depending upon the sum paid when applying (see table above).

    Can I transfer my licence to someone else?

No.

    Which authority is responsible for issuing licences?

Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration (SMSA)

    What fishing gear can I use for sport fishing?

The main gear type used in the sport fishery is trolling, however, some handline fishing for demersal species is also conducted. There are currently few limits on use of fishing gear in the sport fishery.

The use of spearguns, explosives, poisons, and noxious substances is prohibited across all fisheries in Seychelles, including the sport fishery. The Fisheries Act also bans the use of unauthorised fish aggregating devices.

Currently no. However, restrictions exist for Marine Protected Areas. However, more restrictions will be introduced with the Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) exercise.

Trap fishing is restricted to Commercial fishers and recreational fishers. Not Sport Fishers.

    Are there limits on how many fish I can catch per day?

The MP Plan provides for an upper limit of five Bourzwa (emperor red snapper) per day and five Zob gris (green jobfish) per day for sport fishers.

The MP Plan will further limits the total number of fish (demersal species) a sport fisher can catch in one day to a maximum of 20 per fisher.

     Are there any additional restrictions regarding targeted species or other general licence conditions I should be aware of?

There are no additional restrictions regarding the main species targeted by the sport fishery (wahoo, dolphin fish, sailfish, tuna and marlin).

However, in terms of restrictions on demersal species, the MP Plan will requires all fishers (including sport fishers) to return to the water any Bourzwa (emperor red snapper) or Zob gris (green jobfish) that measure less than 32 cm in fork length (from the tip of jaw/snout to the centre of the fork in the tail).

     Do I have to inform someone about my catches?

Yes. While there are no specific conditions concerning catch reporting for the sport fishery, Article 7 (2) of the Fisheries Act makes it a requirement for anyone engaged in fishing and fishing-related activities to provide information regarding their activities (including catch, effort, fishing locations, landing and transshipment) to the SFA when requested.

     Can I sell my catches from sport fishing?

No. Sport fishing and sport fishing competitions should not result in the trading, offering for sale or selling of fish. Catch can be used for charitable purposes (sale, donation) with the authorisation of the SFA.

    I want to organise a sport fishing competition. Do I need a permit?

Yes. Such a permit needs to be requested from the SFA. Only holders of a sport fishing vessel permit may apply for a permit to organise a sport fishing competition.

  

Scientific and Exploratory Fishing

Definition

Scientific and exploratory fishing or research undertaken on fisheries resources gathers knowledge on the resource and its environment. It includes, but not limited to, sampling, collecting, observing, or surveying the fish or fishery resources within the Seychelles waters.

Regulation of scientific and exploratory fishing in Seychelles

Current provisions in the Fisheries Act are quite limited. At the moment, the process is ambiguous as it involves several agencies/departments including SFA, National Institute for Science Technology Innovation (NISTI), Seychelles Bureau of Standards and Ministry responsible for Environment. However, this will be expanded on in the revision.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about scientific fishing in Seychelles

    Do I need a licence to engage in the scientific and exploratory fishing?

According to the Fisheries Act,  individuals or institutions wishing to carry out scientific and exploratory fishing or research on fisheries resources in Seychelles’ waters must first gain authorisation from the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA), after having received the approval of the Minister responsible for fisheries.

If the Minister’s approval is received, the SFA can enter into an agreements or grant (in writing) authorisation allowing vessels, individuals, or organisations to engage in fishing-related activities in Seychelles’ waters for the purpose of scientific research.

     How much does it cost to gain authorisation to undertake scientific research on fisheries?

There is no fixed fee. Instead, the SFA stipulates the specific terms and conditions of any authorisation it grants.

    How long is such an authorisation valid for?

There is no fixed duration. Instead, the SFA stipulates the specific terms and conditions of any authorisation it grants.

    Can I transfer my authorisation to someone else?

No.

    Which authority is responsible for issuing licences?

The Seychelles Fishing Authority.

    What fishing gear can I use to fish for scientific purposes?

The fishing gears that can be used for scientific/exploratory fishing purposes will be specified on the license issued by the SFA. Depending on the type of research/exploration or the scientific rationale, permission might be given authorizing the use of spear guns, poisons, noxious substances, and other gears that are usually not authorized under other licenses.

    Are there any restrictions regarding fishing seasons or can I go fishing all year around?

No. However, this will be specified within the licence conditions by the Authority.

    Are there limits on how many fish I can catch per day?

No. However, this might be specified within the licence conditions by the Authority.

    Are there any additional restrictions regarding targeted species or other general licence conditions?

No. However, additional restrictions might be imposed in the license conditions by the Authority.

    Do I have to inform someone about my catches?

Yes. While there are no specific conditions concerning catch reporting for the scientific fishery, Article 7 (2) of the Fisheries Act makes it a requirement for anyone engaged in fishing and fishing-related activities to provide information regarding their activities (including catch, effort, fishing locations, landing and transshipment) to the SFA when requested.

    Can I sell my catches caught scientific fishing?

Not stipulated if you can or cannot. Allowing the sale of catches from scientific fishing might be considered if there is a strong rationale.

 

Commercial Fisheries - Artisanal Fishery

Definition

Commercial fisheries in Seychelles can be divided into three main sub-categories.

These are:

           1) The artisanal fishery 
          2) The semi-industrial fishery      } collectively the small-scale sector 

      3) The large-scale/industrial sector.

There is no overarching definition provided for commercial fisheries in Seychelles’ laws and regulations. However, definitions for its sub-categories can be found in certain national documents.

The Fisheries Comprehensive Plan defines the artisanal fishery as comprising of all domestic fisheries, including boats ranging in length from 4 to 15 m, targeting a diverse array of demersal and pelagic fish species.

The same plan defines the semi-industrial fishery as comprising of locally owned longline vessels measuring under 24 m in length and targeting tuna and tuna-like species. Vessels licensed for harvesting sea cucumber also fall under the semi-industrial fishery.

No definition is provided for the large-scale/industrial sector. However, it is assumed it can be defined as any commercial fishery which does not fall under the small-scale sector definition.

Regulation of commercial fishing in Seychelles

The Fisheries Act provides the overarching legal framework for commercial fisheries in Seychelles, irrespective of vessel flag, type of vessel, and whether large-scale/industrial, semi-industrial or artisanal. It provides the legal basis for several conditions of fishing licences, such as fees, duration, transferability etc.

Additional rules and regulations are spread across a variety of documents including the Fisheries Regulations, the Fisheries Comprehensive Plan, and the Mahé Plateau Trap and Line Fishery Co-management Plan (hereafter referred to as ‘the MP Plan’).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about commercial fishing in Seychelles

The artisanal fishery

    Do I need a licence to engage in the artisanal fishery?  

Yes. The local fisheries sector comprises of two distinct sub-sectors (artisanal and semi-industrial). The artisanal sub-sector, which is exclusively reserved and practiced by Seychellois fishermen and targets demersal and pelagic species. Other licensable activities include Lobster Fishery and use of nets for the harvesting of Crevice, Mackerel, and Sardines.

    How much does a licence cost?

An artisanal fishing vessel licence costs SCR 500. The fishing activity licences needed to target mackerel, sardines, or crevice (Rock Lobster) with nets each cost an additional SCR 100.

    How long is a licence valid?

All the above licences are valid for a period of one year.

    Can I transfer my licence to someone else?

No, none of the above licences are transferable.

    Which authority is responsible for issuing licences?

The Seychelles Fishing Authority.

     What gear can I use to go artisanal fishing?

The main gears used by the artisanal fishing fleet include hook and line, drop-lines, traps, and nets that are used to catch a diverse array of demersal and pelagic fish species. In terms of restricted gear, the use of large, pelagic nets (measuring over 50 m in length) in Seychelles’ territorial waters is banned (unless the fisher holds a valid license) under Section 10 (1) of the Fisheries Regulations.

The use of spearguns, explosives, poisons, and noxious substances is prohibited across all fisheries in Seychelles, including the artisanal fishery. The Fisheries Act also bans the use of unauthorised fish aggregating devices.

     Are there any restrictions regarding fishing seasons or can I go fishing all year round?

There are few seasonal restrictions on the artisanal fishery. However, artisanal fishers targeting mackerel and sardine with nets can only operate between 6am to 4pm each day (all year around).

The MP Plan, which took effect in January 2022, provides for additional restrictions on fishing in certain areas during periods of the year.  This include no fisher (including artisanal fisher) being allowed to leave fish traps overnight on the spawning sites of Kordonnyen (rabbitfish) during their spawning season (September to April inclusive).

Similarly, for the three days prior to and three days after every full moon that occurs during the Kordonnyen spawning season, all fishing vessels (including artisanal fishing vessels) will be limited to using a maximum of 6 traps per day on listed Kordonnyen spawning sites.

    Are there limits on how many fish I can catch per day?

The MP Plan imposes a maximum limit  of 25 active traps per licenced commercial fishing vessel. 

    Are there any additional restrictions on targeted species?

The Fisheries regulations (1987) restricts certain shells including conch shells (regulation 11), green turtles (regulation 12), hawksbill turtle (regulation 13), and fishing for sharks using nets (regulation 16C).

In addition, the MP Plan requires all fishers (including recreational fishers) to return to the water any Bourzwa (emperor red snapper) or Zob gris (green jobfish) that measures less than 32 cm in fork length (from the tip of the jaw/snout to the centre of the fork in the tail).

     Are there any other licence conditions I should be aware of?

The Fisheries Comprehensive Plan outlines several licence conditions for artisanal fishers, namely that they are only:

   ➢ Allowed to fish all species, excluding those prohibited from being fished under the Fisheries Act (2014) or those requiring special authorizations
   ➢ Allowed to fish in Seychelles’ waters
   ➢ The reporting requirement is as per the Fisheries Act and Regulations
   ➢ Only authorized to land their catches in Seychelles’ ports (or designated landing sites)
   ➢ VMS must be operational throughout whole trips for vessel to be entitled to fuel concessions
   ➢ Requirement to seek authorization prior to commencement of fishing trip (SI, Artisanal)
 
 Artisanal fishers targeting mackerel or sardine with nets are subject to further licence conditions, namely that they are only:
 
   ➢ Allowed to use a nylon mackerel net/nylon sardine net
   ➢ The specification of the net must be as follows:
       º For sardine fishing: a length of 210/9 ply x 20mm, a depth of 6 m, a mesh size of 2.0 cm.
       º For mackerel fishing: a length of 168 m, a depth of 4.12 m, a mesh size of 4.0 cm.
   ➢ The allowed manner of operation is restricted for use by boats only that have a valid local fishing license.
 

    Do I have to inform someone about my catches?

Yes. While there are no specific conditions concerning catch reporting for the artisanal fishery, Article 7 (2) of the Fisheries Act makes it a requirement for anyone engaged in fishing and fishing-related activities to provide information regarding their activities (including catch, effort, fishing locations, landing and transhipment) to the SFA when requested.

     Can artisanal fishers sell their catches?

Yes.

 

Commercial Fisheries - Semi Industrial Fishery

The semi-industrial fishery  

Semi-industrial longline fishery

     Do I need a licence to engage in the semi-industrial longline fishery?

Yes. To engage in the semi-industrial longline fishery, you must licence your boat by applying for a semi-industrial longline vessel licence. To note, the semi-industrial longline fishery is reserved exclusively for vessels 100% owned by Seychellois citizens.

    How much does a licence cost?

A semi-industrial longline vessel licence costs SCR 500.

    How long is a licence valid?

A semi-industrial longline vessel licence is valid for a period of one year.

     Can I transfer my licence to someone else?

No, none of the licences for the semi-industrial fishery are transferable.

     Which authority is responsible for issuing licences?

The Seychelles Fishing Authority.

     What gear can I use to fish in the semi-industrial longline fishery?

Longline, dropline, scuba gear for sea cucumber, handline, troll line (refer to the fisheries comprehensive plan for more information).

    Are there any restrictions regarding fishing seasons or can I go fishing all year round?

Semi-industrial fishing vessels are free to fish all year round except vessels engage in sea-cucumber fishery whereby there is an annual close period.

     Are there limits on how many fish I can catch per day?

There is no individual or collective quota in place for Seychelles’ semi-industrial longline fleet. However, the MP Plan has introduced a per trip catch limit of 20 fish (of demersal species).  This is with the intention of removing the capacity for semi-industrial longline vessels to target large quantities of demersal fish on the Mahé plateau and for them to instead refocus their efforts on pelagic species off the plateau.

     Are there any additional restrictions on targeted species?

The MP Plan requires all fishers (including those on semi-industrial vessels) to return to the water any Bourzwa (emperor red snapper) or Zob gris (green jobfish) that measure less than 32 cm in fork length (from the tip of jaw/snout to the centre of the fork in the tail).

     Are there any other licence conditions I should be aware of?

Yes. According to the Fisheries Comprehensive Plan, the licence conditions for semi-industrial longliners are the following:

   ➢ Allowed to fish tuna and tuna-like species, excluding those prohibited under the Fisheries Act and those requiring special authorisation
   ➢ Allowed to fish in Seychelles’ waters
   ➢ Allowed to fish outside Seychelles waters in areas stipulated by their Certificate of Authorization
   ➢ The reporting requirement is as per the Fisheries Act and Regulations
   ➢ Authorised to land in Seychelles’ ports only
   ➢ VMS must be operational throughout whole trips for vessel to be entitled to fuel concessions
 

    Do I have to inform someone about my catches?

Yes. While there are no specific conditions concerning catch reporting for the semi-industrial longline fishery, Article 7 (2) of the Fisheries Act makes it a requirement for anyone engaged in fishing and fishing-related activities to provide information regarding their activities (including catch, effort, fishing locations, landing and transshipment) to the SFA when requested.

    Can I sell my catches?

Yes. For the semi-industrial longline fleet, they can only sell catches of tuna and tuna-like species.

Sea cucumber fishery

   Do I need a licence to engage in the sea cucumber fishery?

Yes. Vessels wishing to engage in the sea cucumber fishery must apply for a local fishing license (semi-industrial longline vessel licence) and a sea cucumber fishing licence.

To process sea cucumbers, a processing license is required. Only four licenses are available. 

The sea cucumber fishery is a limited entry fishery, with a maximum of 25 sea cucumber fishing licences available per season and a maximum of four sea cucumber processing licences available per season. There are no written procedures in place which have been issued by the Ministry of Fisheries and the Blue Economy for applying for sea cucumber fishing licenses and sea cucumber processing licenses.  The Ministry of Fisheries and Blue Economy (MFBE) has explained that the sea cucumber fishery is a limited entry fishery and the current twenty-five (25) licences are based on historical fishing rights. Given the current status of the sea-cucumber stocks, where some species are observed to be overfished, no new entrants are being accommodated and therefore, there are no published procedures to join the fishery at this point

To note, the sea cucumber fishery is reserved exclusively for Seychellois citizens.

     How much does a licence cost?

A local fishing (artisanal or semi-industrial) licence costs SCR 500. A sea cucumber fishing licence costs SCR 7,000. A sea cucumber processing licence costs SCR 20,000.

     For how long is a licence valid?

All licences for the sea cucumber fishery are valid for the duration of the season. Previously licenced vessels are given priority for receiving a new licence.

    Can I transfer my licence to someone else?

No, none of the licences for the sea cucumber fishery are transferable.

    Which authority is responsible for issuing licences?

The Seychelles Fishing Authority.

    What gear can I use to fish in the sea cucumber fishery?

Sea cucumbers are typically harvested by hand using SCUBA. Each licenced sea cucumber fishing vessel is restricted to using a maximum of four divers (+1 apprentice diver). There are no other gear restrictions specifically targeting the sea cucumber fishery, although the use of spearguns, explosives, poisons, and noxious substances is prohibited (across all fisheries including the sea cucumber fishery).

    Are there any restrictions regarding fishing seasons or can I go fishing all year round?

The sea cucumber fishing season is generally open mid-September to mid-May. The exact dates are considered based on the consultative processes that occur between stakeholders and the SFA at the approach of the new season.

    Are there limits on how many sea cucumbers I can catch?

The Total Allowable Catch (TAC) is set in reference to the 2016 base year at a total of 375,000 pieces, only for three harvestable sea cucumber species. The TAC and non-transferable quota was first introduced during the 2017/2018 fishing season. The breakdown of the TAC is highlighted in Table 1 below.

Table 1: Breakdown of quota distribution per species and per vessel

 

Flower Teatfish

Prickly Redfish

White Teatfish

Total

Pieces per species

281,250

37,500

56,250

375,000

Pieces per vessel

11,250

1,500

2,250

15,000

 

The TAC was reviewed by the SFA in 2021, as per the Cabinet Memorandum 2017- New Management Measures for Sea Cucumber Fishery. Under Point 5. Total Allowable Catch, subpoint 5.5- ‘The TAC will be reviewed after three years or three consecutive opening seasons.

Upon this review, upon consultation, the Ministry and the Board of the SFA recommend a 10% reduction of the Flower Teatfish. The quota allocation for 2021 was;

 

Flower Teatfish

Prickly redfish

White Teatfish

Total

Pieces per species

253,125

37,500

56,250

346,875

Pieces per vessel

10,125

1,500

2,250

13,875

 

The SFA further review the TAC in 2022, following recommendations from the 2021 independent assessment of the sea cucumber fishery, which included complete closure of the white teatfish for the next 3 years, intoduction of a quota of 4,000 pieces of golden sandfish per vessel, a 20% increase in the prickly redfish quota and a 5% reduction in the flower teatfish quota.  The quota for 2022 is : 

 

Flower Teatfish

Prickly Teatfish

White Teatfish

 

Total

Pieces per species

240,475

45,000

0

100,000

385,475

Pieces per vessel

 9,619

1,800

0

 4,000

 15,419

 

     Are there any additional restrictions on targeted species?

No.

   What are the licence conditions for the processing of sea cucumbers?

The licence conditions associated with the processing of sea cucumbers are as follows:

   ➢ Applicants must be a Seychellois citizen;
   ➢ An export permit is required to export sea cucumbers;
   ➢ At export, the levy payable is $2 per kilo;
   ➢ At export, the consignment shall be jointly certified and sealed by the SFA and Customs Officers;
   ➢ The processor or export licence holder is entitled to retain 50% of the foreign exchange earned from the exports. This money must be held in a foreign exchange
       account in Seychelles;
   ➢ The processor must keep records of their purchases, processed and exports of sea cucumbers;
   ➢ The operators must duly complete the Purchase Receipt Book provided for any purchase of sea cucumbers;
   ➢ The processor must permit regular checks of the records of their purchases, and processed sea cucumbers. During storage, the verified and unverified sea   
       cucumbers shall be kept in separate containers. Re-verification will take place prior to export;
   ➢ Stocks of sea cucumbers (wet and dried) must only be kept at the premises as identified on the licence;
   ➢ The processor or exporter shall only export dried sea cucumbers;
   ➢ Non-compliance with the above may result in the licence being revoked;
 

    Do I have to inform someone about my catches?

Yes. While there are no specific conditions concerning catch reporting for the sea cucumber fishery, Article 7 (2) of the Fisheries Act makes it a requirement for anyone engaged in fishing and fishing-related activities to provide information regarding their activities (including catch, effort, fishing locations, landing and transshipment) to the SFA when requested.

    Can I sell my catches?

Yes.

Lobster fishery

    Do I need a licence to engage in the lobster fishery?

Yes. The lobster fishery is a limited entry fishery, with a ceiling set on the total number of licenses issued per season. This number varies between seasons. It is further classified as a local fishing activity that is reserved for locals only.

    How much does a licence cost?

A commercial licence costs SCR 500. A lobster fishing licence costs SCR 500. In addition, a compliance bond of SCR 5,000 must also be paid prior to the issuance of a lobster fishing licence. This fee is refundable upon the end of the season if no licence conditions are breached.

    For how long is a licence valid?

A local fishing licence (artisanal and semi-industrial) is valid for a period of one year, while a lobster fishing licence is valid for the duration of the open season for which it was applied.

    Can I transfer my licence to someone else?

No, none of the licences for the lobster fishery are transferable.

     Which authority is responsible for issuing licences?

The Seychelles Fishing Authority.

    What gear can I use to fish in the lobster fishery?

Lobsters are typically harvested by diving - primarily through snorkelling. Each licenced lobster fishing vessel is restricted to using a maximum of four divers. There are no other gear restrictions specifically targeting the lobster fishery, although the use of spearguns, explosives, poisons, and noxious substances is prohibited (across all fisheries including the lobster fishery).

     Are there any restrictions regarding fishing seasons or can I go fishing all year round?

The lobster fishery is a limited entry fishery. The decision on whether the fishery is opened, the number of licenses to be issued and the length of the season is usually made by the SFA’s Fisheries Management Division, based on the results of annual fishery-independent stock assessments undertaken by the Research Division. For example, the lobster fishery remained closed for two consecutive seasons (2017-2018 and 2018- 2019) to allow stocks to recover.

     Are there limits on how many lobsters I can catch?

No. Though the number of licences for the lobster fishery is tightly controlled, there is no quota on lobster catches imposed on those who are issued a lobster fishing licence.

    Are there any additional restrictions on targeted species?

Yes. The license holder shall not at any time be in possession of, fish for, catch or kill:

   ➢ Lobster in a protected area;
   ➢ Lobster which are less than 7.5 cm in carapace length;
   ➢ Lobster in the berried state;
 

     Are there any other licence conditions I should be aware of?

Yes, there are several other licence conditions associated with the lobster fishery, as outlined below:

   ➢ The license holder will provide access of fisheries technicians to all catches and all reasonable assistance in obtaining data;
   ➢ The license holder will provide the SFA with access to the receipt book for the sale of every lobster at the closure of the lobster season.
   ➢ The licence holder will agree to be interviewed by SFA fisheries technicians as when the need arises;
 

     Do I have to inform someone about my catches?

Yes. The licensee must record all catches in a logbook after each fishing trips, and declare their catches every two weeks, or during any routine inspection. All logbooks should be submitted to SFA within one week after closure of the lobster fishing season.

     Can I sell my catches?

Yes. 

Commercial Fisheries - The Large-Scale/Industrial Sector

The large-scale/industrial sector

Purse seine fishery

    Do I need a licence to engage in the purse seiner fishery?

Yes. All vessels (including purse seines and supply vessels) must hold a valid vessel licence. This applies to both Seychelles-flagged and foreign-flagged vessels.

   ➢  Seychelles-flagged purse seines and supply vessels

For a Seychelles-flagged purse seine to engage in the fishery, it must hold a ‘Seychelles-flagged purse seine fishing vessel licence’. A Seychelles-flagged supply vessel must hold a ‘Seychelles-flagged supply vessel licence’.

   ➢  Foreign-flagged purse seines and supply vessels

For a foreign-flagged purse seine to engage in the fishery, it must hold a ‘foreign-flagged purse seine fishing licence’. A foreign-flagged supply vessel must hold a ‘foreign-flagged supply vessel licence.’ To note, foreign fishing licences to enter the purse seine fishery are not usually issued on a ‘case-by-case’ basis – they must be issued under a foreign fishing access agreement signed between Seychelles and a third party (as stated in Section 12 of the Fisheries Act).

     How much do these licences cost?

           ➢  Seychelles-flagged purse seines and supply vessels

A Seychelles-flagged purse seine fishing vessel license costs EURO 115,000 (can be paid in two equal instalments). A Seychelles-flagged supply vessel license costs EURO 5,000. These fees must be paid by the owner of the vessel being licensed.

 ➢  Foreign-flagged purse seines and supply vessels

A foreign-flagged purse seine fishing vessel licence (negotiated under a foreign fishing access agreement other than the EU/Seychelles Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement) costs between EURO 143,000 to EURO 156,000, depending on the agreement.

A foreign-flagged purse seine fishing vessel license (negotiated under the EU/Seychelles Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement) costs EURO 59,500 per vessel for the year.

A foreign-flagged supply vessel license costs EURO 5,000. The three above fees must be paid by the owner of the vessel being licensed.

    Are there any other costs associated with gaining access to Seychelles’ purse seine fishery?

For Seychelles-flagged purse seines and supply vessels, there are no additional costs (other than those associated with payment of the above vessel licences).

However, under certain foreign fishing access agreements, additional costs (other than those for vessel licences) are required for foreign-flagged purse seines and supply vessels to be able to engage in Seychelles’ purse seine fishery. For example, under the EU/Seychelles Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement, the EU bloc must pay a ‘financial contribution’ of an agreed value for its vessels to be able to fish in Seychelles’ waters. Payment of this ‘financial contribution’ by the EU is in addition to payment of the relevant vessel licence by individual shipowners.

    How long is a licence valid?

All the above licences for the purse seine fishery are valid for a period of one year.

    Can I transfer my licence to someone else?

No, none of the licences for the purse seine fishery are transferable.

    Which authority is responsible for issuing licences?

The Seychelles Fishing Authority.

    What gear can I use to fish in the purse seine fishery?

Purse seines are licenced to fish only using purse seine nets – long walls of netting framed with float line and lead line which have purse rings hanging from the lower edge of the gear, through which runs a purse line made from steel wire or rope which allows the closing of the net.

The use of fish aggregating devices (FADs) is also permitted in Seychelles’ purse seine fishery, although the Fisheries Act bans the use of unauthorised FADs. There are no other gear restrictions specifically targeting the purse seine fishery, although the use of spearguns, explosives, poisons, and noxious substances is prohibited (across all fisheries including the purse seine fishery).

    Are there any restrictions regarding fishing seasons or can I go fishing all year round?

There are no restrictions preventing purse seiners from fishing during certain seasons of the year. 

     Are there limits on how many fish a purse seine can catch?

Purse seines typically target tuna and tuna-like species in Seychelles’ waters and beyond. Management of these species falls under the purview of the relevant regional fisheries management organisation, namely the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC). All purse seines fishing in Seychelles’ waters must therefore respect restrictions on targeted species as outlined in the IOTC conservation and management measures.

For example, the IOTC currently limits catches of Indian Ocean yellowfin tuna. Seychelles has a Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for yellowfin tuna equivalent to 85% of the country’s yellowfin catch for the year 2014 equivalent to 33,211 tons of yellowfin tuna.  Foreign-flagged purse seines fish under their country or bloc’s own quota for yellowfin tuna.

     Are there any additional restrictions on targeted species?

Yes.  There are additional measures for  Threatened and Endangered and Vulnerable species such as some shark specie, marine turtles, cetaceans, whales, rays and billfishes.

     Are there any other licence conditions I should be aware of?

Yes. Section 11 (6) of the Fisheries Act outlines several licence conditions that apply to foreign fishing vessels, including purse seines.

The vessel for which a purse seine fishing licence is being sought must notify the SFA of the name and address of its local agent. The vessel must have no record of non-compliance with international fisheries conservation and management measures.

In addition, the vessel must not be included in any list of vessels having engaged in, or supported, illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing established by the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), or any other appropriate regional or international organisation. Equally, the vessel must be recorded on a list of authorised fishing vessels (either by a regional fisheries management organization or any other list recognized by the SFA).

The vessel must also have finalized all payments relating to the licence it is seeking, as well as settle any outstanding financial obligations regarding previous fishing activities in Seychelles’ waters.

    Do I have to inform someone about my catches?

Yes, the purse seine fishery is subject to strict reporting requirements.

    Can I sell my catches?

Yes.

   Can Seychelles-flagged purse seines fish outside of Seychelles’ waters?

Seychelles-flagged purse seines can fish outside of Seychelles’ waters (i.e., in the waters of a third country or on the High Seas). However, they must first apply to the SFA and be issued a Certificate of Authorisation (CoA).

A CoA costs SCR 500 for Seychelles-flagged purse seines that are owned by Seychellois, while a CoA costs USD 3,000 for Seychelles-flagged purse seines that are owned by non-Seychellois.

Industrial longline fishery

   Do I need a licence to engage in the industrial longline fishery?

Yes. All vessels wishing to engage in the industrial longline fishery must hold a valid vessel licence. This applies to both Seychelles-flagged and foreign-flagged vessels.

A Seychelles-flagged industrial longliner must apply for a ‘Seychelles-flagged industrial longline fishing vessel licence’.

A foreign-flagged industrial longliner must apply for a ‘foreign-flagged industrial longline fishing vessel licence.’

    How much do these licences cost?

A ‘Seychelles-flagged industrial longline fishing vessel licence’ costs USD 30,000 (valid for one year) or USD 25,000 (valid for six months).

A ‘foreign-flagged industrial longline fishing vessel licence’ also costs USD 33,000 (valid for one year)

The foreign-flagged industrial longline fishing vessel licences negotiated under the EU-Seychelles Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement (SFPA) vessel owners pay EURO 7,650. 

     How long is a license valid?

The duration of a license is generally one year, though foreign-flagged industrial longliners can also apply for a six-month license (see above question).

     Can I transfer my licence to someone else?

No, none of the licences for the industrial longline fishery are transferable.

     Which authority is responsible for issuing licences?

The Seychelles Fishing Authority.

     What gear can I use to fish in the industrial longline fishery?

Industrial longline vessels are licenced to fish only using drifting longlines, which consist of a mainline kept near the surface or at a certain depth by means of regularly spaced floats and with relatively long snoods with baited hooks, evenly spaced on the mainline.

     Are there any restrictions regarding fishing seasons or can I go fishing all year round?

There are no restrictions preventing industrial longline vessels from fishing during certain seasons of the year.

    Are there any limits on how many fish an industrial longline vessel can catch?

The industrial longline fishery is dominated by the Southeast Asian fleets which are focused mainly on catching tuna and tuna-like species for overseas sashimi markets. Management of these species falls under the purview of the relevant regional fisheries management organisation, namely the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC). All industrial longline vessels fishing in Seychelles’ waters must therefore respect restrictions (including catch limits) on targeted species as outlined in the IOTC conservation and management measures.

     Are there any additional restrictions on targeted species?

Yes. A yellowfin tuna quota of 3000 tons (from the total of 33,211 tons allocated to the Seychelles)  was allocated to the entire Seychelles-flagged industrial longline fleet for 2022.

Similar to the purse seine fleet, there are additional applicable measures for Threatened and Endangered and Vulnerable species such as some shark species, marine turtles, cetaceans, whales, rays and billfishes.

      Are there any other licence conditions I should be aware of?

Yes. Section 11 (6) of the Fisheries Act outlines several licence conditions that apply to foreign fishing vessels, including industrial longliners.

The vessel for which an industrial longline fishing licence is being sought must notify the SFA of the name and address of its local agent. The vessel must have no record of non-compliance with international fisheries conservation and management measures.

In addition, the vessel must not be included in any list of vessels having engaged in, or supported, illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing established by the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), or any other appropriate regional or international organization. Equally, the vessel must be recorded on a list of authorized fishing vessels (either by a regional fisheries management organization or any other list recognized by the SFA).

The vessel must also have finalized all payments relating to the license it is seeking, as well as settle any outstanding financial obligations regarding previous fishing activities in Seychelles’ waters.

     Do I have to inform someone about my catches?

Yes. Reporting is required to the SFA MCS and statistics sections respectively.

     Can I sell my catches?

Yes.

     Can Seychelles-flagged industrial longliners fish outside of Seychelles’ waters?

Seychelles-flagged industrial longliners can fish outside of Seychelles’ waters (i.e., in the waters of a third country or on the High Seas). However, they must first apply to the SFA and be issued a Certificate of Authorization (CoA).

A CoA costs SCR 500 for Seychelles-flagged industrial longliners that are owned by Seychellois, while a CoA costs USD 6,000 for Seychelles-flagged purse seines that are owned by non-Seychellois.

Access to and use of traditional sites, for landing fish, for temporary fish camps, and for other traditional uses

    Can I operate a temporary fish camp?

No. The Fisheries Act (2014) does not make any provisions for granting of permits and authorisations for the setting up and operation of temporary fish camps.

    Can I access and use traditional and cultural use sites?

There are no ‘traditional sites’ in Seychelles related to fisheries, apart from the known fishing ports and landing sites in the districts. As a result, there are no regulations designed to protect access to these sites. As many fishing vessels are accessed from the beaches, the law guarantees free access to all of Seychelles’ beach and, where the beach is enclosed by private property, for the owner to provide reasonable access to the beach.