The government of Seychelles has pledged to set aside 30 percent of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) to marine protected areas, out of which 15 percent will be a no take, no fishing and no extraction. The other 15 percent on varying levels of protection will still be classified as marine protected areas.
In an exclusive interview Dr Nirmal Jivan, the CEO of Nature Seychelles, said this is a huge undertaking and a massive pledge, in that, it involves about 400,000 square kilometer of oceans considering the population of less than 100,000. However, to him, the difficulty is not only in enacting it but managing it.
“So the Marine Spatial Plan program worked hard for several years to choose which zones should be included in the 30 percent. There was a large amount of stakeholder work but many stakeholders want to know the governance arrangements as in the past management of state-owned sites and islands have included too few institutions” he said.
The Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT), the vehicle responsible for the funds the government is putting aside along with other donors is expected to help establish the large system of marine protected areas in the country’s exclusive economic zone.