With the closure of the airport, hotels and restaurants, and the departure of tourists from the island, the Seychelles artisanal sector has lost most of its markets.
The Ministry of Fisheries is introducing measures that will allow the artisanal sector to continue its activities by guaranteeing them its fish will be bought and in turn, to ensure there is a supply of fish for local people.
After meeting with key fisheries stakeholders, including the Fishermen Boat Owners Association (FBOA, a member of CAOPA), the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture announced the rescue plan.
During the crisis, the fishermen have agreed to sell their catches at a lower price, while the government will provide financial assistance via a loan from the Fisheries Development Fund to the fish processors to cut, pack and freeze the fish.
Production will be distributed to retailers by the Seychelles Trading Company (STC) to ensure access to fish to the population.
The government will also support fishermen by contributing up to two-thirds of the bait prices (usually 15 Seychellois Rupee (SCR)/kg) and to half the price for the ice bags (SCR30 for 60kg).
This, in addition to the worldwide decrease in fuel prices will reduce costs for the artisanal fisherman. The final cost for a kg of snapper, the most common fish caught by artisanal fishermen in Seychelles, will be approximately SCR100, around US$7.