Work is underway to study octopuses in the Seychelles’ waters to identify how many species there are, the total number and their sizes and the information will be used to regulate the fishing of the species.
To help with the project, a workshop was organised on Tuesday, in partnership with the UNDP, Mauritius and the island of Rodrigues in which local fishermen exchanged ideas and looked for ways to better regulate the fishing of octopus in Seychelles, as has been done in Rodrigues.
“Today is a historic moment for the region, as we work together to share ideas, techniques and successes for the benefit of one another,” said the chief executive of the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA), Nichol Elizabeth.
He said that managing local fisheries is something very important when it comes to encouraging sustainability and that is why work is being done with the octopus, to ensure that it is being well harvested and not in any danger.
To help with the project, a workshop was organised on Tuesday, in partnership with the UNDP, Mauritius and the island of Rodrigues. (Sedrick Nicette, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
Octopus is one of the popular delicacies in Seychelles Creole cuisine. It is eaten cooked in coconut milk and curry powder or boiled and mixed with green peppers (capsicum), fresh tomatoes and onions.
The species is caught in different ways and comes with a high cost but until now, the fishing of octopus has never been restricted or regulated in Seychelles.
The country has a number of fisheries management plans for sustainable fishing of some species and these include sea cucumber, which is allowed to be caught on a seasonal basis.
Elizabeth explained that the work that the SFA is doing will include genetic studies, which can then be shared with other countries in the region. Other countries will be able to see if they share some of the same species of octopus in their waters and provide a better understanding of the species.
This workshop is part of the UNDP Ecofish project, which aims to support the artisanal fishing community for the sustainable management of coastal fisheries and to improve their economic situation.
“The Ecofish project also contributes to ensuring greater food security and generates inclusive growth and promotes creation of employment,” said the UNDP resident representative, Amanda Serumaga.
She added that the workshop held in Seychelles is important as it also promotes more cooperation between the two countries and that she was encouraged to see the willingness to have a controlled octopus fishing environment in Seychelles.