Seychelles has a new Blue Economy youth advocacy group, which streamed panel discussions live online as part of Blue Economy Day activities.
A group of young professionals at the Seychelles Maritime Academy met to discuss unlocking the potential of an inclusive Blue Economy and the role of the youth on Monday.
The talks, which lasted for about half an hour, were a chance for the professionals to analyse the ways through which the industry is viewed as well as the issue of how to make fisheries sustainable in the whole Blue Economy spectrum.
The activities to mark the Blue Economy Day were launched by the Minister for Fisheries and the Blue Economy, Jean-Francois Ferrari, who urged the newly appointed youth advocacy group to continue pushing the Blue Economy agenda.
Ferrari also talked about “pioneering efforts Seychelles is making to champion the blue economy.”
He said that the Blue Economy Department has already identified 112 businesses locally that “fall in line with the circular economy that the authorities in Seychelles are also extensively promoting.”
Since 2021, the French government has been working together with the Blue Economy Department to celebrate Blue Economy Day in the Indian Ocean on July 17.
This year the day is being celebrated under the theme “an inclusive Blue Economy and the Role of the Youth.”
The French Ambassador to Seychelles, Olivia Berkeley-Christmann, advised Seychelles to look at the “economic aspects as well as keeping the Blue Economy sustainable.”
She said that France is willing to assist Seychelles in unlocking its potential in this area.
The first youth group for Blue Economy Advocacy group was created in May 2020, so youngsters from various backgrounds develop an interest in the sector and start a trend where the younger generation are encouraging their peers to do the same.
Created as part of a commitment made to the African Union and part of the Blue Economy Strategic Policy Framework and Roadmap, staff at the Blue Economy Department mentored the five initial members in ocean governance.
Kenny Elizabeth, a new youth group member, told SNA that he “hoped to work towards the protection of the sector especially where maritime security is concerned. For example illegal fishing and the other dangers that may negatively affect the Blue economy.”
His colleague David Boniface explained that he will cover various aspects of the relatively new topic of the Blue Economy and make sensitisation the primary focus of his time in office.
Felicita Fillipin, a nature conservationist by profession, told SNA that while she too will work towards educating the youth she will mainly focus “on making people hear their voices as well; since there are so many things that we can do in this area on this small island.”
Seychelles, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, has an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 1.4 million square kilometres that covers around 99 percent of its territory.