24 Mar 2020 - The Bue Economy is critical to the Seychelles, where the fisheries sector is second only to tourism. Fisheries contributes significantly to the GDP and employs 17% of the population. According to the National Bureau of Statistics in 2018, Seychelles saw 116% increase in the total export of fresh and frozen fish; and 400 tonnes of demersal fish exploited monthly, on average for consumption by locals and tourists. Seychelles recognized the need to rebuild and sustainably utilize fish stocks through improved governance and management of the sector. The Blue Economy Roadmap also provided direction on how to diversify the blue economy through more investment in aquaculture. However, the cost of this transition can be substantial for a small island nation.
To meet the cost of this transition, the Government of Seychelles issued a US$ 15 million bond. The proceeds of this blue bond would be used for three objectives:
- Expanded sustainable-use marine protected areas: investments in planning, implementing and enforcing the planned expansion of areas within the Seychelles’ exclusive economic zone subject to restrictions on fishing;
- Improved governance of priority fisheries: investments in finalising key fisheries management plans and building the institutional capacity to implement those plans; and
- Sustainable development of the blue economy: investments in developing greater value addition from the aquaculture, industrial, semi-industrial and artisanal fishing and processing sectors.
The proceeds of the blue bond is administered by two bodies. First, US$3 million by the Seychelles’ Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT) to provide grants and the Development Bank of Seychelles (DBS) to provide loans.
The main beneficiaries are Seychellois whose livelihoods depend on marine resources and the ocean. This includes artisanal and semi-industrial fishers, operators in tourism and seafood value chains, including aquaculture; national and local institutions engaged in the management of marine resources, including fishers’ associations and government entities.
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