Seafood company Ocean Basket Seychelles is planning to build an EU standard fish and seafood processing plant at the Providence Industrial Estate on the main island of Mahe to increase its production capacity.
An environmental impact assessment (EIA) process, which is needed for such large projects, has started and people have been invited to share their comments on the upcoming plant.
Ocean Basket has been allotted 800 square metres of land at the Providence Fishing Industrial Zone and the government has set certain standards for the construction to ensure minimal impact on the environment.
“This part of the project is in the final phase, where we want to have a proper factory that will enable us to process at least 15 tonnes of fish and seafood products daily,” Louis Bossy, the company’s director general, told SNA.
At the moment, Ocean Basket processes around 300 tonnes of by-catch per month, harvested from industrial tuna fishing vessels under the requirement by Seychelles law to retain other pelagic species caught in tuna nets.
The fish for the company are harvested from industrial tuna fishing vessels. (Ocean Basket) Photo License: All Rights Reserved
“While we want to increase our processing capacity, the new facility will also allow us to look into the processing of other seafood, such as crabs, among others,” said Bossy.
The by-catch is exported to fish processing and distribution companies in European markets, the U.S., U.K., Middle East, Asia and many other countries around the world.
The company already has two smaller facilities, which cater for the processing of by-catch and frozen fish, and this new factory will allow for more fresh fish processing to be done.
Bossy said that one of the challenges the company is facing is the recruitment of Seychellois workers with the necessary experience. It is, therefore, sourcing workers on the foreign labour market.
He said that most Seychellois with experience in the field are already employed at other similar companies and to employ them would require poaching, which would then cause problems for other companies, he said.